Friday, February 22, 2019

On Jordan Peterson's 'rape' comments and the provocation of outrage

Regarding the views of Jordan Peterson, recently interviewed by NZ Herald journalist, Simon Wilson: "He's said several times it's wrong to believe the victim in rape cases.”

Without wishing to put words in Peterson’s mouth I expect he might have conveyed his intention better if the word ‘automatically’ had been inserted before ‘believe’.

And I suspect that Mr Peterson has talked about this issue on the back of feminist fixation with the issue of rape and consent. It is entirely pertinent to this country.

The message steadily gaining traction is, ‘No women laying a rape complaint must be disbelieved’. Prior to the 2014 election Labour wanted to shift the burden of proof of consent to the defendant.

In any event Labour did not win the 2014 election. But again in April 2017 Labour's sexual violence spokesperson, Mrs Poto Williams called for “…radical reform of the sexual justice system which would see rape accusers believed by police as a starting point.”

This would invert the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

Naturally Peterson would oppose this idea. We all should. The whole point of the justice system is to fathom out the facts and respond accordingly.

To further explain his position he also makes mention of the high number of false rape complaints that occur. There have been numerous examples in New Zealand. Reports from the mid-2000s suggested police put the level of false rape complaints as high as 60-80 percent. The Peter Ellis organization documents many. Not content with second-hand information, I wrote to the New Zealand Police in 2008 asking for statistics relating to false rape allegations. Their response:

“Police record statistics under the offence “False Statement/Declaration Etc”. However, these statistics do not distinguish/identify the nature of the false complaint e.g. ‘Rape’….official statistics for what you have requested do not exist.”

Hit a brick wall there. But in the late 1990s Jan Jordan, Victoria University, wrote a paper Beyond Belief? Police, Rape and Women’s Credibility.

Describing her own interviews with detectives experienced in sexual assault investigations,  Jordan writes estimates of false rape allegations  “…ranged between one detective who said 10 percent and another who estimated that 80 per cent of all rapes reported were false ‘in one way or another’.”

Jan Jordan was given unprecedented access to police files to make her own analysis of rape and sexual violation complaints. Police judgement on 164 cases from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch were examined. Factors that featured in findings of false complaint included drug or alcohol impairment, a delay in reporting, previous consensual sex with accused, previous rape complaints and intellectual impairment. Jordan observed “…a dominant mind-set of suspicion underlying police responses to reports of sexual assault.”

She also sensibly points out: “The police do, in fact, have to tread a fine line between the victim and the accused as they attempt to preserve the balance of justice and guard against the possibilities of wrongful conviction. However, an over-zealous commitment to the rights of the accused may unwittingly tip the balance the other way.”

The converse is equally true. That is the direction we are heading in, or indeed, a destination we have arrived at - an “over-zealous commitment” to the rights of the accuser.

This, then, provides context for Jordan Peterson’s comments which taken in isolation provoke the outrage the journalist intended.

Monday, February 18, 2019

An 'old white women's' view

My last post was about sole parents and their declining dependence on benefits. It was a public alert countering the messaging from welfare advocates.  My husband asked me, Why doesn't Paula Bennett tackle this stuff, promote her record of welfare reform?

I don't know, I replied.

But today we are privy to what she does spend her time doing My new look and life 12 months after gastric bypass surgery

Of course she is not alone.

Maggie Barry and her bolt hole was a recent DomPost piece Inside Maggie Barry's sea front home

Links for celebrity MPs on the left - especially the PM - can be found but I can't be bothered.

I disapprove of MPs magaziny muppetry. Makes me very old school, I know.

But these individuals are handsomely remunerated by the taxpayer to perform a public service. This fluff stuff is overt vote-buying. It's another form of pork-barreling.

And think about it. It's most commonly female MPs exploiting their gender - and the interest it elicits from their 'sisters' - that pimp themselves in this way.

But they might dismiss me as an 'old white women' clinging to a paradigm of policy over personality. Of service over stardom. Of serious, sustained endeavour over shortcuts.