The Great Debate UK
- Sandra Dickson is a feminist working to prevent sexual violence in Aotearoa, New Zealand. She helped establish the counter-trafficking Poppy Project and wrote “Sex in the City, Mapping Commercial Sex across London,” the first attempt to map the commercial sex industry. Sandra has also been involved in the Women’s Refuge movement in both the UK and New Zealand, and has written a number of research papers about women’s experiences of intimate partner violence. She blogs as Luddite Journo. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in.–
International Women’s Day number 99, Aotearoa New Zealand.
Stage set for the perennial argument – is feminism still necessary? Or merely an academic subject for historians, with IWD covered in a lecture?
New Zealand men’s rights activists and groups describing themselves as pro-family advance further and argue feminism has gone too far, particularly in the realm of interpersonal intimate relationships. Women are increasingly violent and reports of domestic violence and rape are exaggerated. Women’s rights advocates, they tell us, have much to answer for.
So what about relationships in New Zealand?
Sexual violation is a gender neutral offence, to criminalize a range of sexually abusive behaviour. One in three women and one in ten men will experience unwanted and distressing sexual contact during their lifetime.
- Sandra Dickson is a feminist studying journalism at Whitireia Journalism School. She has worked to prevent violence against women in organizations in the UK and New Zealand, helping establish the counter-trafficking Poppy Project where she wrote “Sex in the City, Mapping Commercial Sex across London,” the first attempt to map the commercial sex industry. Now living in New Zealand, she is active in the Women’s refuge movement. She blogs as Luddite Journo. The opinions expressed are her own -
New Zealand was formally colonised late in world terms, after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed with indigenous Maori in 1840. Colonists came with grand ideas of building a “better Britain.” All could aspire to own property, and the most advanced indigenous people in the world were to be treated the best by the most humanitarian settlers.