New Zealand Listener - - LETTERS -

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)

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