Thursday, 26 May 2011

Paul Quinn's response to our outcry.

This post refers to yesterday's episode of Backbenchers and the post I wrote last night.

Other than a quick (not-sorry) tweet Paul Quinn has not fronted to the numerous people on twitter and other social media questioning his comments, today TVNZ (reported by stuff with video link) had the following response from him…

Quinn said he hadn't heard the slutwalk presentation (a great brief from Pollyanne Pena) and didn't understand why he was being asked the question.
He ''absolutely regretted'' the misinterpretation.
''I couldn't hear the speaker's presentation and I didn't know what she said. Wallace asked me what did I think of girls wearing short skirts at 2am in the morning in Courtenay [Place]. I looked at him and thought 'what the hell is he asking me that for?'
''Clearly rape is not justified for anything.
''I thought the question was around drunkenness on Courtenay Place at 2am. That's what I thought the discussion was initially about. Others started talking about rape and I thought what the hell are they talking about.''
He added: ''The mis-interpretation was around the fact that I hadn't heard what the discussion was about. I explained that to them afterwards.''

So let me clarify, you didn’t know what they were talking about, and so launching into a tirade about women still being out at 6am partying was the best response?

And then when Wallace Chapman clarified the question by saying ''Do you think there is something to this idea that girls ask for it...they'll be saying that?''
Then you STILL didn’t understand?
What did you think you were talking about?
Girls who go out partying and drinking til all hours are asking for:
A lecture?
A headache?
A bad reputation?
A pregnancy?
A theft of their purse?

What exactly DID you think you were talking about Paul? Because I cant think of anything that someone asks for by going and drinking other than (and this may surprise you):getting drunk.

And later, once it was VERY clear, and Trevor Mallard had very clearly stated that there is NEVER a reason for rape you felt the need to clarify.
At this point it should have surely been the clarification that you didn’t realise they were discussing assault?
No, what you said was…

“I should, I should say… Your question was aimed at women, so I responded to women – boys are just the same”
Yep. Don’t want to leave those boys out.
So men, if you get raped, it is probably because you were asking for it too.
And boys…
No I’m sorry, I’m not even going there.
I feel sick.

I think the country needs an apology, and an acknowledgement that this attitude is not ok.
I would love to see a live debate on one of our news stations, between several panelists, because the more we bring this topic out in the open, the quicker we can change this crap.

If anyone does want to write to Paul his email address is


Andrew said...

Depressing that neanderthals like this come anywhere close to elected office in this day and age. Any time I hear idiocy like Quinn's I'm remind of this excellent poetic rant from Attila the Stockbroker, 'Contributory Negligence':

cjmax02 said...

I am so sorely tempted to email Paul Quinn, but I don't think I could hold back from flaming him.

Scuba Nurse said...

love it andrew.
cjmax02 - I know the feeling!!

Anonymous said...
Greens co-leader Russel Norman, who was sitting next to Mr Quinn, said the National MP had turned to him and told him he had been unable to hear the presentation properly.
"He seemed genuine," he said

There is no political gain for Russell Norman to defend him given the circumstance so I think there was a genuine misunderstanding about the question.


Maia said...

Yes because Russell Norman is my go to MP when it comes to intelligent feminist comment about sexual violence /sarcastic voice

( for explanation).

Anonymous said...

Hi Maia, I'm not suggesting Russell Norman is a beacon for feminism, just in this particular isolated occasion he stated Paul Quinn turned him and said he didn't hear the question. A bit silly to answer a question he didn't understand but still as a member of a rival party Russell Norman has no reason to defend Paul if he believed something as stupid as we think he believes.

Maybe he does think those horrible things, he maybe not, but let's not unfairly characterise him if a genuine mistake was made.


Anonymous said...


Apologies for the couple of grammatical mistakes. I'm at work and didn't proof read it.


Boganette said...

Oh so he was just generally shaming women for how they dress and the acceptable/not acceptable social lives they have.

In that case it's fine. And it's also fine to not actually clarify things on the night as soon as Heather Roy started talking about rape, you know, when he KEPT TALKING.

Why do people keep making excuses for this guy? Oh, rape culture.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be off topic, but as apologies go, how would you (and others) rate this one?

Sophia said...

Has anyone seen Kiwiblog's take on this issue? Not that expected something different, but the post really highlights how pervasive rape myths are.

Anonymous said...

Hi Boganette, My only suggestion was that he may have misheard the question as per Russel Norman's statement, a rival MP. I have no stake in the man I just don't want to convict him in the court of public opinion if he was genuinely misinterpreted. Obviously if he said it and meant it then let him hang in it but please don't imply I'm supporting a culture of rape for wanting to be sure.

Sophia, they pretty much managed to hit every redneck talking point. Good to see the diversity of opinion still exists over there.


Boganette said...

"I just don't want to convict him in the court of public opinion"

Dude, this is a blog. It's not the Supreme Court. You have your opinion on it. I have mine. We're both entitled to form our own view on it.

padgp said...

I emailed Quinn and asked him to march with us on the 25th as a sign of good faith. No response yet.... watch this space.