Friday, 24 June 2011

An open letter to the NZ media regarding slutwalk

Cross posted from my home base.

Dear NZ media.
I will be attending tomorrow’s “slutwalk” and I am so scared I am seriously considering not going.
I am scared that you will film me, and then use my image to misinterpret what is happening and why I am there.
I am scared that it will affect my job.
I am scared my boyfriend and I’s friends and family will think less of us.
I am scared that people who do rape and assault women will see me, and that will make me more of a target than simply being a young woman already does.
This march is TERRIFYING on so many levels.

But I will be there because I want to raise kids in a country where they do not have to drop rape charges just because they have had sex in the past, and their dating history is visible online.
I want to raise my kids in a country where the first question the police ask is “are you ok?” not “did you fight back?”
I want to hear that my kids can talk about their experiences of assault without the event being a mark on THIER reputation.
I want victim blaming to STOP NOW.

So let’s start with you shall we?
Here is how we will start.

Use our full quotes, don’t cherry pick my words to portray me as anything other than as how I present myself. My mother, great uncle, boss and friends will be watching the news.

Please accept that 99.99% of the attendees are not ACTUALLY marching for their right to wear a short skirt. We can already do that, as noted in all the judgemental footage of the viaduct that you use when covering the drinking culture in NZ.

Please do not only use footage of those dressed provocatively to cover the march – show footage of the wide range of men and women attending.

Please don’t show footage of us crying and call us victims. We are survivors.

Please don’t use footage of us shouting and make assumptions about why we are angry, or whether we should be.

Try for once to actually RESEARCH what we are marching about rather than just guessing by looking at us.

Make it very clear that we are not angry at one ignorance Canadian policeman.
Here are some nice quotes from rape crisis that you can use.

We are angry that we get judged for what we wear even though only 3% of offenders in NZ are actually strangers.

We are angry that people still feel comfortable saying someone is “rape bait” or “asking for it” because of what they wear or how they behave, when we would NEVER make the assumption that someone is a prospective rapist just because they have had a few drinks. What is the difference in judgement?

We are angry that the media spends very little time identifying that it is ok to set boundaries - even with people you love, and lots of time on what we wear when the majority of our offenders are blood relatives (30%) or a friend/acquaintance (30%) of the survivor.

We are angry that you waste time discussing where rape occurred as though we can prevent it by avoiding dark places. Those dark alleyways are in the minority of cases. Most rapes occur IN OUR OWN HOMES (61% of reports)

We are angry that you continue with thoughtless reporting, which adds to an environment where we feel so unsafe about this culture of blame that we DONT REPORT.
(56% were not reported to the Police)

Thank you for your time. I will see you tomorrow.
Kind regards,

No comments: