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Prime Minister John Key: bust the “Roast Busters” and show you take sexual violence seriously

This is one of the responses that New Zealanders have made towards the ‘roast busters’ feature on the news recently, which I first talked about here. The fact that there has to be a petition is a terrible thing in itself, because it shows just how lacklustre efforts to stop this type of invasion of privacy and the rape-acceptance mindset that society seems to have gained due to the apparent desensitisation to horrific crimes.

I have seen a few responses that are along the lines of “I don’t think they’ve done anything wrong, and I’m annoyed we’re going to have new censorship laws because some girls made bad choices to get some liquor and a cigarette” and a lot of people seem to consider what happened as consensual, not rape. There are Facebook communities supporting the ‘roast busters’ actions.

I’m going to re-iterate what I said earlier: implied consent, imagined consent, expected consent, forced consent and consent when under the influence of drugs/alcohol are NOT INFORMED CONSENT, and should not be regarded as explicit or informed consent. They should not be acted on. Ever. Add to that the horrible breaches of privacy that those ‘roast busters’ have made by posting images and videos on social network site, alongside names and personal details? What they have done is illegal, immoral, and cruel.

So, I urge you to sign this petition, or others like it, and help to put a stop to the miscarriage of justice that is happening as the government doesn’t act on the information that they have been given.

– Let’s call me Lily

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To Vote, Or Not To Vote?

I’ve finally gotten round to watching the Russell Brand argument against voting. You can watch it here and listen to a very eloquent argument in which

Actor-slash-comedian-slash-Messiah Russell Brand, in his capacity as guest editor of the New Statesman‘s just-published revolution-themed issue, was invited to explain to Jeremy Paxman why anyone should listen to a man who has never voted in his life.

“I don’t get my authority from this pre-existing paradigm which is quite narrow and only serves a few people,” Russell responded. “I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity.”

http://gawker.com

Apart from the completely ridiculous comments, which don’t address the discussion at all, I found this very, very interesting. Brand argues with passion and a very sophisticated vernacular that puts his point across very clearly, and it is definitely a point worth thinking about!

Have a watch and see what you think,

Let’s call me Lily

The Consent Problem

I recently went onto the Auckland Uni page, and who did I see? None other than Nicola Gavey, who’s the supervisor for the research project I participated in earlier this year. Her article, which was about the disturbing gang-rape culture and worrying lack of concern about consent issues, links to some of the aspects that we talked about in the workshop (which I will eventually write about, someday). It is described as “Roast busting and the revival of misogynist sexual culture”.

Consent is usually defined as a variation of: “Consent refers to the provision of approval or agreement, particularly and especially after thoughtful consideration.” There have been many opinions and definitions of what makes sexual consent, but one thing is always agreed upon: the people involved most be sober of mind and must willingly consent to any sort of sexual behaviour. Implied consent is not enough. The article shows how blatantly ‘roast busters’ are defying all of this, and how, according to today’s laws, they are able to get away with the most horrendous crimes and invasions of privacy.

You can have a read here.

Women’s Equality: It Takes Two

A really important part of the Global Citizen movement is women’s equality, which focuses on getting contraceptives made more readily available to women, and the importance of family planning, including an online petition, which anyone who values the importance of education to the process of making educated decisions can sign.

In July 2012, governments, NGOs and donors came together at The London Summit on Family Planning  and pledged US $2.6 billion to halve the number of women without access to modern family planning by 2020.

This figure would enable 120 million more women to have access to family planning.

Imagine what it would be like if you weren’t able to make your own decisions in life.

This is a reality for 222 million women today who lack access to modern contraception.

I’ve signed the petition to help the family planning pledge become a reality…have you?

Let’s call me Lily

The Global Citizenship Concert

On Sunday the 7th of August, I was lucky enough to got to the Global Citizenship Concert held at the Auckland City Hall.  A group from my school Human Rights Activists group had won some tickets to the concert by entering in a competition, and I reaped the benefits as an extra ticket was kindly given to me by one of the girls.All you have to do is sign up to become a Global Citizen and then earn some points so that you can be in to win tickets for the various concerts that are held throughout the world. These are awesome events that always have amazing artists donating their time: groups such as Black Sabbath, The Foo Fighters, The Dixie Chicks, Bruno Mars, and more, and are globally held, so almost anyone can attend one! By working with leading NGOs, World Vision, VSA, ChildFund, Oxfam, UNICEF, TEAR Fund and the P3 Foundation events will unite a generation’s call for justice and bring together a community of like-minded people.

This unique opportunity was a concert run by the Global Poverty Project, and all the amazing New Zealand artists who performed did so for FREE. In between acts were some inspirational speakers, ranging from 12-year-old Hannah, who was taking part in the Live Below The Line campaign supported by the TEAR Fund, to the CEO of the Global Poverty project, who flew in from New York to talk to the audience about extreme poverty and how his project was working to combat it. The full line-up consisted of Tiki Taane, Anika Moa (whose music I love, and who turned out to be a great entertainer, too!), Jamie McDell, Seth Haapu, Ahoribuzz, Maitreya, Louis Baker, Thomas Oliver and the Auckland Gospel Choir, many of whom wrote a song especially for the concert, which were performed live for the first time ever at the Global Citizen Concert. They were asked to sing the words they thought people needed to hear, the words that moved them, the words that could become a soundtrack to the worldwide movement to end extreme poverty within a generation.

A couple of my teachers also attended, and were spotted next to the World Vision stand, which us girls surrounded for an opportunity to have a go at measuring their arms with the extreme poverty armband (all were deemed healthy – obviously malnourishment isn’t a problem for those of us who tend to regard hot chips as a trendy breakfast). A great time was had by all, even though some feet were a bit sore by the end of the night!

ABOUT GLOBAL CITIZEN

Global Citizen is a tool to amplify and unite a generation’s call for justice. It’s a place for you to learn, and act, to bring an end to extreme poverty.

Global Citizens know that a world that deprives 1.3 billion people of their basic rights and opportunities is unjust and unacceptable. We celebrate the efforts made to cut extreme poverty by half, but recognise more still needs to be done. We know that people living in extreme poverty are working hard themselves, and that we need to learn and take action to change the rules that trap them in broken systems.

We use Global Citizen to learn more about issues, so we can take effective action for change and find opportunities to support campaigns and organisations creating sustainable change. Right now Global Citizen is in launch phase, but in coming weeks and months it will feature new issues, with the latest information and action opportunities, so you can take effective action for change.

Every person has a part to play in writing the story of the end of extreme poverty. Become a Global Citizen, and start your journey here, today.

And…Passed!

Today, the Marriage Amendment Bill became legal, to the happiness of many and the opposition of others. New Zealand’s first same-sex weddings took place this morning, starting as early as half past midnight, after the nation became the first in the Asia-Pacific region and the 13th in the world to legalise same-sex marriage. Approximately 83 couples are getting married today, with many in exotic locations such as on an aeroplane! Famous NZ lesbian singer Anika Moa will be singing for the country’s first same-sex wedding in the air. Lynley Bendall and Ally Wanikau will be married onboard a special Air New Zealand flight.

TVNZ reported back on thoughts of the nation, showing that many prominent New Zealanders still continue to oppose the change, but also highlighting Louisa Wall’s feelings of triumph and excitement that her bill allows “All the theory of Parliament…to [come to] fruition today and we can put in practise the fact that any two people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity can get a marriage license and so that’s what we are going to be celebrating today.” Radio stations have also included themselves in the fun, reporting on the many opinions of gay marriage that the Bill has encouraged, as well as telling listeners all about the first same-sex marriages throughout the day.

Additionally, Tourism New Zealand has been rumoured to start advertising NZ as ‘the place’ to get married, and almost 1,000 Australians are planning to cross the ditch to get married.

You can visit this site to get an as-it-happened full account

New Zealand:Lucky Number 13

A while ago, I posted about the first passing of the same-sex marriage bill.

Well, yesterday evening, the bill passed for the final time – 77 votes to – 44 against, making New Zealand the 13th country to legally allow same-sex marriage. It received a lot of coverage in the news, including from Australia, where

“More than 1000 Australian same-sex couples say they will fly to New Zealand to get hitched if a bill to legalise gay marriage passes through Parliament.
 
Gay marriage advocate Rodney Croome says a survey by his organisation, Australian Marriage Equality, has found more than 1000 couples plan to travel to New Zealand to tie the knot.”

So it seems we’re going to be getting a whole lot of Aussie weddings soon!

A great way to end Term 1 on, this is a major breakthrough for the gay and lesbian communities in New Zealand, and another affirmation of how important human rights are to the people of this country. Go us!!!!!

Some articles about the bill, and below that some about the Arms Trade Treaty

Another important passage occurred a week or so ago, when on April 2 the Arms Trade Treaty passed the UN General Assembly meeting with a majority vote! So it looks like a brilliant month for human rights right now!

If there’s any new development that I’ve missed and you think should be celebrated, or a wedding that you’re planning/attending, I’d love to hear from you!

Let’s call me Lily