New Zealand newspaper reporting on rape presents some grave concerns in relation to how women as victims are discussed, objectified, and silenced. The 2016 trial of ‘Northern Districts’ cricketer Scott Kuggeleijn has showed this all too clearly.
Kuggeleijn took to the stand after a woman alleged that he raped her, at her Hamilton flat in May 2015. Comments from The New Zealand Herald and Stuff showed little progress from sexist attitudes towards women, and the abhorrent culture that surrounds rape and sexual violence in this country. Stating that the complainant was dressed “very provocatively” with her “breasts out” and “quite revealing with a short skirt and pink top” (Feek, 2016) only serve to remind us that women, and their appearances, are, in some way to blame for rape (Feek, 2016).
Kuggeleijn’s defence lawyer suggested that the cricketer acted as any other man would when he tried to have sex with a woman after she had earlier said ‘no’: “If I said to you that 100 men who have been in that situation and tried again you would have a forest of hands. There’s nothing horrible about that, it’s just a reflection of life really, and what was Kuggeleijn other than one of these men?” (Akoorie, 2016). Continue reading A Woman’s Words: What are They Worth?