I had about 30 seconds of doubt but, after applying an essentialist principal — if it isn’t a definite Yes it’s a definite No — I decided not to go to the Pride Parade last night. Waking up to a barrage of outrage on social media about the assault that took place, I’m doubly glad — I have real concerns about the organisers’ response to what happened and I would have hated the crowds.
There’s been a lot of talk, both for and against, David Cunliffe’s recent public confession that he is sorry to be a man. While I admire his intent, I think his choice of words let him down and weakened his message, for several reasons.
Good on David for trying to take on the Goliathian issue of male violence against women. Unfortunately, by misrepresenting the issue’s complexity, he may have had less of an impact than he could have.
Herein lies, I believe, the challenge of the queer (all encompassing term) community. How do we create opportunities for us to interact — across gender, orientation, ethnicity, ability and any other uniqueness or commonality — in a way that doesn’t use “pride” to compensate for “shame”?
Organisations that build cultures that require people to do the right thing in regards to culture, gender, sexuality, function (disability) etc, create behaviours governed by fear. People will avoid engagement in order to stay safe, because they’ll be scared of getting it wrong.
Nobody wants to be shamed, blamed, attacked, punished or made fun of.
It’s easy for middle NZ to scream foul at the behaviour of the “Roast Busters”, blaming and shaming them. Not as easy, though, to realise these boys are a product of their environment.