Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Mike Tyson: the Undisputed Truth

When the Hand Mirror publicised feminist calls to stop convicted rapist Mike Tyson coming to New Zealand to "inspire" us, some responses suggested it was unfair to Mr Tyson to object to his presence here, mostly because he might have changed his women-hating behaviour since being convicted of raping Desiree Washington in 1992.

So let's check it out, by looking at what he talks about in his new Broadway show about his life, the modestly titled "Undisputed Truth."  Firstly, he didn't get to call the show what he wanted - "Boxing, Bitches and Lawsuits."

Secondly, he jokes about not knowing the difference between menstrual blood, miscarriage blood and blood from a rape - in reference to Robin Givens, an ex-partner who has publically accused him of domestic violence.  Right before he affirms he doesn't owe teenager Desiree Washington an apology, and complains about all the money he has spent on women over the years.

That's all from August this year.  Even more recently he's told the media he was "set up" around raping Desiree Washington.

Then there is his description of himself as a "prostitute-hunter".  In the past, you know, before he got all redeemed.

Just last year, Mr Tyson gave his views on Sarah Palin, in relation to inter-racial sexual experiences:
“But you want her to be with somebody like [Dennis] Rodman getting up in there. Pushing her guts up in the back of her head! Glen Rice is a nice, mellow, docile man, non-threatening black guy — you want someone like Rodman — yeah baby! Imagine Palin with a big old black stallion ripping — yeehaw!”
Mr Tyson is not redeemed, he's a misogynist man who excuses and perpetrates violence against women.  No forgiveness from me, Mr Tyson.  Go and do the real work of facing up to your actions before you claim you've changed.  And stop talking about women and our bodies with such hatred.  The saddest thing about this whole saga is how invisible your hatred seems to be, to too many people.

UPDATE: And round two, Mr Tyson is still not coming here.  Perhaps the Immigration Minister was influenced by one of Mr Tyson's supporters emailing a specialist sexual violence sector agency manager to say he hoped Mr Tyson raped her.  #RAPECULTURE, you're soaking in it.


K said...

So excellent I copied and pasted onto another site (links back to this). Says it all and with references.

I see Australia dropping their standard again. Pity as it would have been fun to see him shut him out of an entire continent.

Anonymous said...

His "redemption" or otherwise is irrelevant. You can't stop people coming into New Zealand because they're a misogynist (as much as that would be an awesome rule to have). He hasn't committed a crime in a very long period of time and that should be the main consideration. Regardless of his redemption he has obeyed the law. It's as simple as that. This issue is one of legality not of morality.


LudditeJourno said...

Hey me,
the people arguing Mr Tyson should be able to come are pretending he is inspirational because of his redemption, and they are also arguing that our immigration laws should be changed to allow him to come (sentenced to 5+ years for a crime). So legally, there is no leg to stand on. And misogyny is not about "morality" - it's about power and oppression.
Thanks, LJ

LudditeJourno said...

K - thank you :-)
Yes, extraordinary who Australia shuts it's doors to, and who it welcomes, isn't it?

K said...

The rules say that if you have been sentenced to 5 years or more in prison you can't enter NZ. (Tyson served 3 years of a 6 year sentence = the rules exclude him).

Got this info from the Herald so may not be correct.

Anonymous said...

@K - yes those rules are correct.

@LudditeJourno - yes I understand what misogyny is, thanks.

As far as I have heard, people are arguing he should be allowed to come because he hasn't reoffended in 20 years (i.e. that is long enough on which to grant a waiver). Regardless of whether he is "redeemed" (which is actually where my comment of morality was referring; redemption is a moral process and deciding if someone fits the bill or not is a moral decision), he hasn't actually committed the behaviour in question since 1992. That alone warrants reconsideration of the rules (back to the point I made some posts ago about it not being fair to judge someone for their behaviour 20 years ago).

Immigration laws are solely based on risk of reoffending. His risk is extremely low given the long period of not offending. He is obviously still a misogynist but hating women isn't illegal in this country.

I should also state that accepting his low risk of reoffending DOES NOT mean you have to think he's an inspiration. I certainly don't. He's a horrible man. But my point is that it's not fair to deny immigration to someone just because you don't like them.

AnneE said...

Thanks so much for this update and making it perfectly clear why Tyson should continue to be excluded. It was excellent to see the group that had appeared to be his original sponsors rapidly withdrawing their support.