Tuesday, 28 June 2011

This is exactly what we marched about.

This is rape culture in action.

A few days ago, ACT on Campus Vice President Cameron Browne told a female commenter on a facebook thread to 'get raped' as some kind of answer to her comments.

He then proceeded to attempt to defend himself by claiming to have 'unreservedly apologised'  a few minutes later, a claim which (of course) has yet to be proven. As the WYFC has pointed out, this isn't the first time that ACT on Campus have made despicable comments about rape.

This is a perfect example of the fact that rape is a gendered crime*, one which is seen as a way of punishing women who do such hideous things as comment on a facebook post or wear a short skirt. Women in public spaces are treated as though they are somewhere they don't belong and that this should be pointed out to them, whether by talking over them, shouting abuse at them on the street or telling them to 'get raped.'

As far as I know only Heather Roy from the ACT party has responded to the issue:

As I said at my other blog, I think shrugging it off as not her responsibility is a little gutless. It’s good she doesn’t ‘condone’ it, but she should be condemning it. This is not only a member, but a member of the youth executive, and a representative of her party and she has a responsibility as an MP to respond when such a disgusting comment is made.

Violence, even when it's via a facebook comment, should never be used as a political tool and the use of it exclusively against a female commenter speaks volumes about the misogyny within ACT on Campus.

Be sure to let Mr Browne know your feelings about this via his twitter @cameronwbrowne** and the twitter hashtag #cameronbrowne.

*This is not to suggest that only women are raped, but that culturally rape is viewed as something which 'happens' to women who 'deserve it.'
**Be sure to include the 'w' because some poor dude called @cameronbrowne has been getting a lot of flak today.

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