Hollie Smith – Please

Hollie-Smith-Please

Download your copy of ‘Please’ – click now to order your advance copy now (just $2.39) – All proceeds to White Ribbon

 

Hollie Smith launches the 2016 White Ribbon Campaign with beautiful new single and video “Please

White Ribbon is pleased to announce that cherished iconic New Zealand soul songstress Hollie Smith, today launches the 2016 White Ribbon Campaign by releasing Please’, a song she has written in support of this years campaign.

Despite 2016 being an incredibly busy year, releasing latest album Water Or Gold, touring Australasia and nominations for Album Of The Year and Best Female Solo Artist at this Novembers VNZMA’s, the multi-award winning musician wasted no time in signing up to add her voice to the White Ribbon campaign.

Hollie has always maintained a highly respected reputation of creating music with the utmost integrity and passion and it was with these qualities in hand that she wrote Please. By generously giving her talents and time to writing and recording this song, specifically for White Ribbon, Hollie advocates her belief and support for this worthy cause.

Hollie Smith says “I am humbled to be involved in this year’s White Ribbon campaign and hope that the song and imagery we have created can in some small way, contribute and raise awareness to an issue that New Zealand urgently needs to address and prioritise”.

“I hope that the lyrics help to inspire, encourage strength, and provide support for those people who are in situations they feel are beyond their control, whether that’s the victim of violence or the person who knows no other alternative”, says Hollie.

Please’ is available for purchase from iTunes: CLICK HERE

All Artist Royalties proceeds will be donated to the White Ribbon Trust to help end men’s violence towards women.

 

‘PLEASE’ by Hollie Smith

We all fighting a battle that no one else can see

We all have our own reason, excuses we can’t release

We all need a haven, when all there is, is rain

We all need forgiveness to have our slates wiped clean

I wish I that I could tell you

I wish that you could hear

Oh I’m never gonna hurt you, always gonna be here

Never gonna turn my back

I wish that you could listen

Cause I know that you are strong

Oh I’m never gonna hurt you, always gonna be here

Know that you are not alone. Please

Only hold the burden, inherit all the shame

Refusing there’s a saviour, can’t let go of the blame

If the cycles keep on turning, you need to break free the chains

The scars may never leave you but there’s a spirit to reclaim

I wish I that I could tell you

I wish that you could hear

Oh I’m never gonna hurt you, always gonna be here

Never gonna turn my back

I wish that you could listen

Cause I know that you are strong

Oh I’m never gonna hurt you, always gonna be here

Know that you are not alone. Please

Where we don’t, cast any stone

No longer, know you’re alone

Holding feet to the fire, don’t walk this alone

You can change your fate


The annual White Ribbon Day is Friday 25th November. Following the success of the 2015 campaign, the focus of the 2016 November campaign is ‘Respectful Relationships’. Understanding that by saying Yes to Respect, and building on the awareness that a respectful relationship requires equality, communication and consent, is a powerful step towards stopping violence towards women.

“Most men treat women with respect,” says White Ribbon Ambassador Mark Longley, “but the biggest cause of violence is the belief that men have more rights and power than women. This campaign asks men to challenge those ideas and treat women how they would like to be treated, and let go of the feeling that we have to be in charge.”

The campaign also focuses on ‘male behaviour during conflict’ and demonstrates that communicating is key to a good relationship. “Conflict happens,” says Mr Longley, “but dealing with it respectfully makes all the difference.”

“We want to make the information on respect as accessible as possible, so we’ve also created a ‘Toolbox’ which contains practical tips on how to treat women equally, communicate respectfully and have a respectful sexual relationship. We see this work as a protection against violence, and we’re asking men to download the ‘Toolbox’ and then take The White Ribbon Pledge,” says Mr Longley.

Show your support for White Ribbon Day on Friday 25th November 2016.
Check out the campaign at www.whiteribbon.org.nz to see what events are happening in your part of
New Zealand throughout November, and download your Toolbox now.

KEY STATISTICS

  • One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
  • Less than 20 percent of abuse cases are reported
  • Approximately 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women
  • On average, 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex-partners
  • Police attend over 100,000 family violence incidents a year – one every 5 minutes

Family violence accounts for half of all reported serious crime

KEY WHITE RIBBON MESSAGES

  • Say yes to respectful relationships and no to violence towards women
  • Respectful relationships require equality, communication and consent
  • Violence is not just physical
  • Men are part of the solution
  • You can help fix this problem by taking The Pledge to stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence towards women

FOR MEDIA, PLEASE CONTACT:
contact@whiteribbon.org.nz

Te Rito White Ribbon Mountain Bike Ride 2016

Te Rito Wellington Family Violence Network
3 hour mountain bike relay in support of White Ribbon Day
Mt Victoria trails
20 November 2016

white-ribbon-batman-child-a4-final-2

Te Rito Wellington Family Violence Network, supported by NZ Police and PNP Cycling Club invite you to join us on Sunday 20 November 2016 for our 4th annual 3 hour mountain bike relay to mark White Ribbon Day.

White Ribbon Day (25 November) is the international day when people wear a white ribbon to show that they do not condone violence against women. Please show your support by joining in our event.

coursemap_d_mtvicThis year our event will run alongside Round 5 of the PNP Spring series and will be on a different, exciting course (see map).  The course is suitable for riders 10 years and over and is suitable for all levels.

Register Online HERE or there will be cash registrations on the day at Hataitai Velodrome from 7.30am.  Briefing is 8.45am for a 9.00am start. The ride can be done solo or bring some mates to form a team. Entry fee is $10 solo, or $20 per team (up to 4 people). $5 from each entry will go to supporting trail building and maintenance in Mt Victoria.

For this White Ribbon Day event you can be as serious (or not) as you like.  Come along and use it as a warm up event for Taupo the following weekend or if that’s not you, join the fun and have a spin around the trails to mark White Ribbon Day.

Or just do whatever you can manage and come out for fun.

Lots of spot prizes on the day including one for best costume!

Any questions contact Janet Bagshaw on terito@maoriwomensrefuge.org.nz

White Ribbon supports new anti-violence measures

White Ribbon logo for Facebook profileWhite Ribbon Media Release

13 September 2016

White Ribbon supports new anti-violence measures

Cam Ronald, White Ribbon Chair, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s intention to overhaul the family violence prevention system.

“For too long violence has been hidden behind closed doors,” says Mr Ronald. “Perpetrators have used their long held expectations of privacy to use violence to control their partner and or families. The speech today by the Prime Minister signalled a long overdue change in attitude. That violence is ‘our’ problem, and no longer something that can be swept under the carpet and hidden from view.

“The focus on early intervention is to be welcomed, as are the proposed changes which include a new offence of non-fatal strangulation, strengthening Protection Orders, and sharing of information which can assist courts.

“The suite of proposed changes is significant, and signals a substantive change to the way in which New Zealand approaches family violence. We believe there is a clear theme of promoting victim safety, which is paramount, and making perpetrators of family violence more accountable. White Ribbon applauds this focus.

“As an organisation with a goal to eliminate men’s violence towards women, White Ribbon believes that education around ‘respectful relationships’ is a key requirement to ensure violence is avoided. The Prime Minister clearly put the need for change in the hands of men, and challenged men who are violent in their relationships and within their family, to do something, and to seek help, to change their behaviour.

“With this in mind we look forward to continuing to work with the government and anti-violence sector to eliminate the attitudes that lead to violence,” says Mr Ronald.

 

KEY STATISTICS

  • One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
  • Less than 20 percent of abuse cases are reported
  • Over 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women
  • On average, 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex-partners
  • Police attend a family violence incident every 5 ½ minutes
  • Family violence accounts for half of all reported serious crime
  • In 2013 Police recorded 95,101 family violence instigations
  • In 2014 Police responded to over 100,000 family violence incidents
  • In 2015Police responded to over 110,000 family violence incidents

KEY WHITE RIBBON MESSAGES

  • Say yes to respectful relationships and no to violence towards women
  • Respectful relationships require equality, communication and consent
  • Violence is not just physical
  • Men are part of the solution
  • You can help fix this problem by taking The Pledge

The focus of the 2016 November campaign is ‘Respectful Relationships’

_____________________

 

 

 

White Ribbon Offers support to NZRFU to ensure that there is a strong message around the need to treat people with respect at all times

chiefs

Photo: PHOTOSPORT

White Ribbon New Zealand has offered support to the New Zealand Rugby Players Association and the management of the Chiefs rugby franchise in responding to the incident where a stripper was employed at an end of season function. The chair of the White Ribbon Advisory Committee, Cam Ronald, said “I had contact with both the Chiefs and the Players Association to offer support from White Ribbon. This would ensure that a strong message around the need to treat people with respect at all times, to avoid incidents such as the one which was then under investigation by the NZRFU. These offers were accepted.”

“The management at the Chiefs had already accessed the White Ribbon web site and used material from the White Ribbon toolkit developed in 2015 which provides a template for respectful relationships, and they had used some of that material in framing their response and management of the incident.”

Cam said that “an offer for further contact with the Players Association, together with the Professional Development managers of all the New Zealand rugby franchises, had been extended for October, and this was being progressed.”

White Ribbon emphasises their aim of developing and maintaining appropriate and respectful relationships between men and women in all situations and environments, to avoid incidents such as this.

__________________________________________

Small selection of Media on the issue:

Love Rugby Respect Women

love-rugby-respect-womenA letter signed by many prominent New Zealanders including Dr Jackie Blue, EEO Commissioner, Louise Nicholas, Sexual Violence Survivors Advocate, Rae Duff, National President, National Council of Women of New Zealand, Prue Kapua, National President, Maori Women’s Welfare League, Ang Jury, CEO Women’s Refuge, Barbara Williams, National Council of Women, Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner and Jane Drumm, Shine asks the New Zealand Rugby management and board members to take on board external offers of assistance. You can read the letter here

 

Stan Walker supports White Ribbon NZ

BREAKING NEWS: Stan’s mother has been diagnosed with cancer and the tour has been postponed. We wish April a speedy recovery and all our aroha.

White Ribbon Ambassador Stan Walker is coming to New Zealand and touring for the first time in three years. As if that isn’t enough, Stan is  helping to promote ‘Respectful Relationships’ in schools across New Zealand. We have 50 concert tickets and thousands of dollars worth of merchandise to give away to school students who take part in our ‘Respectful Relationships’ competition. And one school will win the chance to have Stan visit in person! Stan is also donating some of the proceeds of the tour to two of his favourite charities The Key to Life and White Ribbon. To view Stan’s New Takeover New Zealand Tour click here. Details of the schools competition coming soon.

Stan Walker - New Takeover NZ Tour

New White Ribbon Advisory Committee Chair

Judge Peter Boshier congratulates new White Ribbon Advisory Committee Chair Cam Ronald

Judge Peter Boshier congratulates new White Ribbon Advisory Committee Chair Cam Ronald

I am delighted to have the opportunity to take up the role of Chairman of the New Zealand White RibbonAdvisory Committee. The Advisory Committee serves an important role. It supports the annual activities leading up to 25 November, while at the same time allowing government and non-government agencies to work together, to coordinate the campaign and to provide advice. During the year, the Advisory Committee meets about six times to provide advice to the White Ribbon Trust which manages the financial and business side of White Ribbon New Zealand.

There are a number of challenges we face, including ensuring the Advisory Committee remains a conduit to the anti-violence community in New Zealand. I want to ensure we are hearing your voices and that you are feeding your experience and knowledge into the campaign.

To that end I want to find ways to ensure that there is greater representation from the NGO sector so your views and the knowledge as the experts working in the field with the survivors and perpetrators of domestic and family violence are better used to inform the campaign.

Over the last few years I have had the chance to work on a New Zealand Overseas Development Program delivered by the New Zealand Police, working with the police and the communities in the Pacific to reduce the incidence and the harm from domestic and family violence. A key outcome of this work was an Accord reached in 2014 which identified that culture, religion, and tradition are never a valid excuse for abuse.

The Accord called on religious, political, and police leaders to speak out and to act in a positive way to reduce the incidence of violence and to overcome barriers to changing men’s attitudes and community attitudes to the rights of women and girls.

There seem to be a number of similarities between the findings of the Pacific Nadi Accord, and the situation, as I see it, in New Zealand. If all leaders, both political and non-political, community leaders, religious leaders, and other people in positions of authority and who have a public voice were to speak out with one voice, then I think we could see a significant change in the current acceptance of violence as normal.

This is an ideal role for White Ribbon – to enthuse those who want to lead change, and encourage those who have yet to come to the realisation that change is required.

As the Chair I would like to reinforce our existing relationships, such as those with the “It’s not OK” campaign, our White Ribbon Riders, government agencies, corporates and especially with community groups working at the coalface.

White Ribbon New Zealand has 100 men who have chosen to be White Ribbon Ambassadors who carry the message in their own lives, and in the community, that violence will not be tolerated. The mix of Ambassadors, while diverse, would benefit from having a greater representation from the New Zealand Pacific Island community, and with my background, I’m keen to see that the ratio of Ambassadors drawn from the New Zealand Pacific Island community increases.

White Ribbon is an internationally respected and well-known brand. It carries a consistent message that violence will not be tolerated, especially in the domestic and family violence environment. I’m keen to see that the fine reputation of White Ribbon is maintained and to grow the reach of the campaign.

Judge Peter Boshier has left the New Zealand White Ribbon organisation in very good heart, and it is my privilege, and also my challenge, to continue the strong leadership, messaging and example set by Judge Boshier.  I look forward to providing support to the other Ambassadors, and to the White Ribbon Campaign Manager, Rob McCann, who carries the day-to-day operations of White Ribbon in such a successful way.

 

Cam Ronald

 

__________________________________________

 

Cam Ronald – Brief Bio

Cam joined the Police in 1972 at Invercargill. The majority of his operational service has been in the Criminal Investigation Branch in Invercargill, Christchurch and Queenstown, with a particular emphasis on gang investigations and criminal intelligence.

He moved from Invercargill to Police Headquarters in 1989 as the OC of Interpol.  This was followed by periods on the INCIS computer project, national coordinator of the undercover programme, development of various initiatives for CIB including anti money laundering procedures and the introduction of the national DNA databank, followed by a period as the head of the National Bureau of Criminal Intelligence.

In 2001 he and Jenny undertook a three year diplomatic posting to Canberra as the NZ Police Liaison Officer.

In 2004 he took up the position of Executive Director of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat in Wellington.

Cam retired as a sworn member of the Police in March 2007. He was re – employed by the NZ Police as a programme manager leading a NZ Government  regional police programme, the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme (PPDVP), to reduce the incidence of domestic violence in the pacific. Cam has just recently retired from this role and will focus on White Ribbon.

PPDVP has worked with pacific police each year to recognise White Ribbon Day and the 16 Days of Activism on Women’s Rights.  Many pacific police services now have White Ribbon day as a regular event in their calendar, and work with other agencies and their communities in various ways, to recognise the significance of the Day.  In 2013 the Australian Federal Police accepted an invitation from PPDVP to work together and to offer support to these regional activities.

Cam and Jenny have one son who is a Police Constable working on Youth Aid in Wellington.

Bill O’Brien joins White Ribbon as an Ambassador

Bill & Lesley Elliott

Lesley Elliott and Bill O’Brien from the Sophie Elliott Foundation

White Ribbon proud to announce Bill O’Brien as a White Ribbon Ambassador

Bill O’Brien a former police officer, now writer and anti-violence advocate has taken on the role of White Ribbon Ambassador, a decision spurred by his previous experiences and research.

White Ribbon is a campaign that educates men about non-violent attitudes towards women. The campaign aims to end family violence, the seriousness of which is indicated by the 100,000 incidents which police attended in 2014. Ambassadors are a key way in which the White Ribbon Campaign challenges the behaviour of abusive men and builds support and visibility for non-violence.

“White Ribbon welcomes Bill as a White Ribbon Ambassador,’ says Rob McCann, White Ribbon Committee Campaign Manager. “This is a man who stands side by side with Lesley Elliott and the Sophie Elliott Foundation, delivering the kind of messages that our youth need to hear. Now White Ribbon will be able to benefit from that knowledge and commitment.”

Mr O’Brien has seen the trauma associated with violent behaviour during a 35-year-long policing career and is now a Trustee with the Sophie Elliott Foundation, where he advocates zero tolerance for abuse. Bill manages foundation aspects of the nationwide police run Loves-Me-Not workshops in schools.

“This is an opportunity for the Sophie Elliott Foundation and White Ribbon to work even more closely,” says Mr O’Brien, “ ensuring both boys and girls hear the same messages about respectful relationships.”

“I feel that people need to understand and appreciate the benefits of having a respectful relationship. By speaking out and educating young people about respect, we are shaping the well-being of communities.”

This year, White Ribbon will expand upon their ‘Respectful Relationships Campaign’, a building block which promotes concepts like consent and healthy communication techniques that help to protect against violence.

“I’ve seen the after effects of violence,” says Mr O’Brien. “It destroys lives and that’s why my focus is now directed at our youth. We need to ensure that they do not grow up and make the same violent choices that too many adults make. Research internationally indicates that the most effective way of reducing violence is through education.”

“I hope my role as a White Ribbon Ambassador will ensure that violence is not seen as an option for boys or acceptable to girls.”

 

lesley and sophie

Sophie Elliott Foundation

Website: www.sophieelliottfoundation.co.nz

Email:info@sophieelliottfoundation.co.nz

Facebook: sophieelliottfoundation

START WITH RESPECT

Start-with-Respect

How to be a good guy 101

You wanna to be a good guy, right? Whether hooking up at a party, or getting into something a bit more serious, or you’re all over Tinder – you want to treat your partners with respect.

If you’re not sure where to start with the opposite sex, we’ve got some simple tips for how to get a good relationship going with women. Download this document as a PDF.

Start with respect

Showing respect is attractive to others.

This means treating others how you want to be treated.

Sometimes you might find it a bit difficult to talk to women – especially women you’re into – but they’re people, just like you. And they’re probably nervous too. Whether you’re wanting a hook up or a girlfriend, think about how you want your partner to respond to you, and treat her the same way.

Respect her, listen to what she has to say, do what you say you’ll do, and, obviously, show some real interest in her as a person.

Remember, every woman is someone’s daughter, sister or friend, so treat her how you want other men to treat the women you care for.

 

Consent is sexy

Before you talk to a woman, you’ve got to get your head around one thing:

they don’t owe you sex.

Whatever you’re doing, and whoever you’re doing it with, enthusiastic consent is always your starting point. That includes things like sexting. You and your partner both get to weigh in on what happens, and you can both change your minds whenever you want to. You can’t ever ‘earn’ the right to have sex with someone. If anything’s going ahead, you have to both be equally into it, the whole way along.

Here’s what we mean:

Ask, don’t assume
Don’t just assume your partner is OK with whatever you’re doing. You actually need to ask and pay attention to how she’s acting. Only proceed if she wants to. And even more important, you need to accept what she wants.

Keep checking
Keep checking in. After all, relationships and sex can involve lots of different activities – saying yes to one doesn’t mean you say yes to everything. Before you take it a step further or change things up, ask if she’s OK with it. Again, don’t put pressure on if she says no.

And you also get to say what you’re OK doing.

Can she say yes?
If you’re a good guy, these points will be obvious. If a woman is out of it, from alcohol or drugs, she can’t give you the big thumbs up. Not resisting you isn’t the same as giving consent. You’ve got to leave it – even if she’s your girlfriend, even if she seems to be into it. Girls under 16 can’t give their consent either – they’re minors. If your partner isn’t able to agree, having sex is illegal.

No pressure
Consent only counts if it’s given freely – that means no threats or tricks, including things like guilt trips or giving the silent treatment. It’s not just a crappy thing to do, it’s illegal.

Watch a quick video about sex and consent here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8&feature=youtu.be

 

take care down there

Sex is fun, but it can be serious too.

You can get some painful and disgusting STIs if you don’t use protection, plus getting your partner pregnant has a big effect on everyone for a very long time. Find out more at http://www.familyplanning.org.nz/advice .

You both need to be responsible for contraception and protection – don’t just assume she’s on the pill and hope it will all be good. It can be a bit awkward to talk about this stuff, but your junk will thank you for it.

 

be real

Always be yourself.

It sounds super cheesy, but sharing your real thoughts and feelings helps women (and people, in general) understand and connect with you.

Remember you’ll both be feeling nervous. Treating each other with respect is the best way to get through this.

Unless you’re 12, stop playing games. If you like someone and want a relationship with them, make it obvious.

Starting a relationship with lies and tricks just makes things more complicated – and you’ll be found out eventually.

do the right thing

Being trustworthy is cool.

That means being consistent and reliable – show up when you say you will, reply to texts, don’t go behind people’s backs or let them down.

It also means respecting your partner’s privacy – only share things she’s OK with you sharing.

 

don't believe everything you see

TV shows, movies, even ads can be weirdly old fashioned about how men and women act, and when you grow up hearing and seeing those messages all over the place, it’s easy to believe them. Clips you watch on the internet (you know the ones) can be even worse. If all your ideas about women and sex come from porn, you might be in for a shock when you meet a real live woman.

Life doesn’t have a script but you get to act how you choose.

Don’t assume that men always have to take the lead when it comes to sex. Don’t think that you’re the dominant partner because you’re male. Women also feel sexy so don’t have double standards – she’s not a slut for doing the exact same things you do.

Macho dudes who buy into those traditional roles aren’t just sexist – they’re harmful to everyone. Showing you’re not like that isn’t just the right thing to do – it can make you safer to be around, and more attractive too.

 

call out your mates

Doing the right thing for the women in your life means calling out shitty, sexist behaviour when you see it. It’s not easy to be the buzzkill who shoots down a joke – you can do it gently, so your mates don’t feel too stink. It goes a long way to making the world feel safer for women.

For more ideas about how to react to your mates see http://whiteribbon.org.nz/sexual-violence-and-the-issue-of-consent/toolbox/

 

Stop Street Harassment

If you’re a dude, you probably haven’t had people whisper sleezy comments at you when you’re jogging, sit way too close on the bus, or yell at you from passing cars. These things happen to women and girls all the time, and they can range from annoying to terrifying.

Just don’t do it.

Go ahead, talk to women: just make it respectful and genuine. If you’re just trying to ‘score her’, she’ll be able to tell. Think about the time and place (a dark street at 3am? Nope) and back off straight away if she’s not interested.

Think about how you’d want other men to treat your sister or mother.

 

talk and listen

Be up-front about what you want from the relationship.

Are you keeping it casual, seeing what happens, or do you want to get married next year?

 So you flirted, asked her out, and now you’re a thing. Sweet. But that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. You’re both still in charge of your own lives.

You might end up wanting different things or it doesn’t work out. Again, think about how you want to be treated and act that way towards your partner. You can be respectful when you her know you’re not into her any more.

And if she wants something different you have to accept her decision. It’s OK to feel hurt and it’s best to talk about your feelings with others you trust, so that you can move on.

Even if you’re jealous or taking it hard, it’s wrong to punish or pressure her, threaten or intimidate her, or stalk her (even online). That is creepy and illegal.

 

Be a guy youd want to hang out with

It’s about being the person you want to be. And living with yourself forever.

We all make mistakes, but if you try to be a good guy, you’ll feel better about yourself in the long run. You don’t want to be replaying old conversations in your head or avoiding people you know you’ve treated badly.

Follow this advice and be a good guy. We need more people like you

Download this document as a PDF

Thanks to ACC, Garth Baker and Words for Breakfast

 

Harrassment is not ok

*Trigger Warning*

on air incidentLast night, my girlfriend was accosted, live on national television, by two boys who thought it would be cool to touch her inappropriately, get in her space and yell the sexually aggressive phrase “fuck her right in the pussy.” Apparently it’s a popular viral internet thing to do if you’re a rapey pissed up fuck boi. It’s funny some say. Despite having boys she didn’t know touch her without permission and embarrass her on TV, I thought she played it pretty cool live on air, laughing it off as girls the world over seem to learn to do in our culture. The thing is, they shouldn’t have to.

Just as upsetting as what transpired are reading many of the comments, from both men and women in support of the two guys who did this. Legends was a term I saw used on social media to describe the two guys who think women shouldn’t report from music festivals .  Harden up, you’re being unprofessional, just laugh it off type  comments abounded. Why should women and girls learn to laugh it off? Why is that an even a thing, that it’s ok to make someone feel shitty and females should just deal with it? Why aren’t boys and men learning not to sexually harass and intimidate women and girls?

While on one admittedly stupid, alpha male, level the whole thing angers me (love those boys to come do some sparring with me at the gym, you’re always welcome Sean Phillips and Terry Insull, I’ll go a round with you each one after the other), it also got me thinking about sexual harassment, street harassment  and about what women and girls put up with in our society.  I wanted to  know how commonly  females  are made to feel uncomfortable, solicited, touched without consent, and generally treated badly.  So tonight, when I was teaching my women’s Muay Thai class, I got chatting to some of the students who turned up and came up with an impromptu interview. Shout out iPhones!  I’m not claiming by any means an exhaustive body of  journalistic work, it’s just a random group of women from a  range of backgrounds, just recounting their experiences authentically.

“I feel scared because I’ve had men chase me.”

I feel worthless. I hate when guys just look at you for your body.” 

Now I don’t know any of these interviewees especially well, we  didn’t have a script and all the interview subjects did it on literally 5 minutes notice with little time to prepare their thoughts  after a training session, but I think these short stories speak really powerfully about just how common and severe a problem harassment is.  16 year old girls should be able to go for a walk or a run without having grown men yell at them out of their cars. 37 year old mothers should be able to take their infants for a walk in a pram without getting hassled. Your work place should be a safe place where you feel comfortable.  

“If you’re one of those people who tell women to laugh it or ignore it, you should stop because really we can’t be so blasè.”  

May I just pause to publicly say thank you all so much for sharing with me, and allowing me to put it online. The internet can be mean and people are thoughtless  bullies online, so I think you’re all really brave and cool AF to open up like this.

Now you might think I’m just upset because something happened to my girlfriend, but the fact is, this isn’t the first story I’ve heard about harassment, sexual or otherwise.  This sort of shit is, as you can see in the video above, routine, and this is simply the most recent  example of it that’s close to home. It makes me think of the girlfriend who told me she lost her virginity, raped passed out drunk. Or one of my best friends who woke up naked at 15, not sure where she was and what the boy who she’d been with had done to her, but she was dressed when she went to bed. How’s that related, you might scoff and ask, and to that I say google rape culture. Nothing happens in a vacuum. We continue to live in and create a culture  which, basically, treats women like shit. Women get paid less, suffer dramatically higher levels of domestic violence and sexual assault than men. It’s the daily sexual innuendo, jokes, harassment  and verbal abuse and intimidating behaviour that is a back drop which helps create the environment for all of this to happen in.

Men, bros, bruhs, dudes, we need to look at our behaviour. We need to stop laughing at and  humiliating women. At treating their bodies like public property that you can grab when you feel like it. We need to call other guys out, challenge them on the language they use, the porno they watch and what it’s teaching them, the jokes they laugh at. It’s up to us to question others, because next time it might not be ‘just a joke’ and it might not be my girlfriend, it might be yours. Or your daughter. Your sister. Your friend. Will it be so funny then?

This post was written by Richie Hardcore who is a White Ribbon Ambassador. The original post is here.

White Ribbon calls on men to reject ‘Return of the Kings’

Return of the kings

Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh, founder of the self-styled men’s advocacy group Return of Kings

Neomasculinist group ‘Return of the Kings’ leader, Daryush ‘Roosh’ Valizadeh, has announced plans to hold public meetings around the world, including in New Zealand.

White Ribbon Campaign Manager, Rob McCann, has described the ideology that the group is trying to sell as disgusting, and says that they have no place in modern society. Australia and New Zealand just recently rejected the group called the ‘Pick up Artists’, and we should do the same with the Return of the Kings.

In 2015, the White Ribbon’s campaign focused on Respectful Relationships and for the first time talked about the need for consent when engaging in sexual activities.

“For this group to advocate that ‘rape on private property should be legalised’ is abhorrent, and demonstrates just how deluded and despicable they are,” said Mr McCann. “We don’t need people like this peddling their own version of misogyny.

“Most men treat women with respect, but the biggest cause of violence is the belief that men have more rights and power than women. This group will try and perpetuate that belief, and for that reason alone we shouldn’t be letting them into New Zealand,” said Mr McCann.

White Ribbon Ambassadors have also been appalled by news of the ‘Return of the Kings’ and want the New Zealand Public to know that New Zealand men do not, and should not, have these attitudes.

White Ribbon Ambassadors Respond
“These views will be abhorrent to New Zealand men. We are proud to live in a country where women and men are valued equally. Gender discrimination and stereotyping like this has no place here.” Children’s Commissioner and paediatrician Dr Russell Wills

 

“To be allowed to promote such degradation is not just against what White Ribbon stands for, it is against the very moral nature of human society. There is no way these people should be allowed into New Zealand.” David White

 

“In its broadest sense, a truly progressive society is one that cares for, protects and provides for women. These are, in fact, the very principles that underpin what being a man is really all about. Let’s build a nation of good strong men who understand this – the other kind of nation is one not worth living in.” Trevor Simpson

 

“I am standing up against the online group Return of the Kings. Their message is degrading to women, and aims to perpetuate negative stereotypes. The men I know do not involve themselves in such groups, and treat women with respect. If we are to be a loving society, we should denounce such groups, and help fight this type of rape culture.” Callum Williamson “It’s really childish, ridiculous, and crazy to show masculinity by raping women. Demonstrate masculinity by respecting women.”  Pan Benjamin “This ludicrous ‘analysis’ of gender relations would be comical if it were not so offensive.  The emergence of such misguided individuals, and their primitive stereotyping of gender roles, should motivate us to redouble our efforts to encourage all men to develop and maintain positive and respectful relationships with women.” David Clendon MP

 

“As a father I want my daughter to be safe, to be respected by her partner and to have the freedom to make choices, I want my sons partners to feel safe,  respected and able to speak their truth.   When myself,  my sons or any men act in a way that disrespects women, treats them as less than human and privileges ourselves ahead of everyone else, we don’t just disrespect them we effectively disrespect ourselves.” Brian Gardner former chair White Ribbon “As a White Ribbon Day Ambassador, and the Chair of the White Ribbon Day Advisory Committee, I consider the proposed visit by a person purporting to be a leader on gender issues, as an affront to the excellent progress that has been made in New Zealand, and which continues to be made.  Proposing something so abhorrent and out of touch with New Zealand society as “agreement to rape” shows a total lack of respect for all “thinking” human beings, and is offensive.   By responding to him we add fuel to his fire, but this is an important issue that I personally take a stand on, and I call on other like-minded people and groups to show their commitment to speak out against all forms of violence.” Cam Ronald “As an ambassador and a male I strive to see gender equality and respect. For us as men to allow such an event to take place here would be a travesty. The ideology of this group is incredibly damaging and has no place in New Zealand.” Robert Mackay

 

The Community Responds

Wellington ROK members met up at Glover Park and while we all believed the Return of the Kings members were likely scared off from showing up, it was still important to take a stand and start a conversation about the wider surrounding issues. We wanted all want to show that these hateful ideas are not welcome in Wellington or Aotearoa.


Check out the speakers including White Ribbon Ambassador Robert MacKay. Thank you so much to Dan Urlich for filming the protest & speeches on Saturday in Wellington & for putting together this video.

 

If you are dating – check out this White Ribbon Resource – START WITH RESPECT

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Media:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/76470133/neomasculinist-group-return-of-kings-leader-daryush-roosh-valizadeh-announces-he-will-visit-australia

There is at least one peaceful protest now organised in Wellington. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/76471698/new-zealand-men-to-protest-neomasculinist-group-meetings

A really good post on the effect this group can have https://bootstheory.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/i-say-no-to-rape-promoting-meetups-in-my-city/

Please show your support for respectful relationships.