WEINSTEINS OF THE WORLD
It is good to see Peter Calder ( Comment, November 4) and Bill Ralston ( Life, November 4) speak up against Harvey Weinstein and his ilk, but it needs emphasising that this is not even the tip of the problem.
The actions of Weinstein and others are symptomatic of a massive attitudinal problem of men, in the main, who consider rape jokes, pornography and the general denigration of women to be okay and blokey.
Such attitudes and acceptance are the reason sexual exploitation through trafficking and slavery is one of the biggest growth businesses in the world. And unbelievably, perhaps the biggest and most abhorrent growth area is the sexual abuse, through brothels and pornography, of children.
Supply will always meet the demand, which is why men everywhere must challenge these actions and attitudes wherever and whenever they encounter them. Michael Pinkney
Chairman, Stop Demand (Kohimarama, Auckland) I take issue with Peter Calder’s assertion that “all heterosexual men think and speak in ways that appraise women sexually and speculate on their willingness, or even eagerness, to become the object of our intentions”, and that any man who says he never does is a liar.
If his aim is to encourage good men to speak up on behalf of women when men behave inappropriately, a goal I would applaud, then to attempt to shame an entire gender is counterproductive.
In remonstrating with his sweeping castigation of all men, I have categorised myself as a liar in Calder’s view. I entirely reject this appellation. Being an elderly gent, I actually don’t care what he might think of me. My response is on behalf of the good young men out there struggling with contemporary negative definitions of manhood who could do without this attempt to shame them because of their gender. Graham Snadden (Nelson) It gladdens me to see people of all ethnicities, generations and ways of life opening up about their experiences through the #MeToo social media campaign sparked by the Weinstein revelations. It is hard to say “enough” – I know.
You feel shame. In my generation, the thought was that you probably deserved it. You asked for it in the way you dressed. You keep quiet for the most part. You beat yourself up. You wonder: could I have done something to stop it?
You keep the memory of what happened closed off. You reason that by locking it up, the voice that taunts you will gradually die away. It doesn’t.
Then one day you see that others have done the same, that the blame, shame and need to keep it hidden were not only yours to claim. And the numbers begin to mount of brave people facing and casting aside their demon, the
belief that they were to blame. It was way overdue. Jo Bryant (Katikati)