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July 31, 2006 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Womanising in Wellington

Who wants to be a woman in Wellington? Assuming the sex-change was successful, I’d see the world in a new, ominous angle. I’m not just talking about sitting down to pee. If I were a nubile lass in the city, I’d keep my pepper spray, taser, and knuckledusters in my handbag, and pray to God each night I go out that it won’t be my last. Oh, and I’d become a black-belt karate champion. Definitely karate.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world according to TV1 recently, and in the wake of some Karori guy washing up minus key appendages in Red Rocks, the nation has been told to get paranoid. Predictably, the message is the same. Woman be warned: your life is forfeit. Every man is a misogynist. Park your car in well-lit areas. Trust nobody. Don’t even think about that run around Oriental Bay – some pervert with a knife and an erection is waiting at Greta Point to get you.

In fact, experts interviewed by TV1 recommend you keep to the pack. Stick to groups. It’s best to include a man wherever you go – to tip the odds in your favour. Our nation’s news has advised you to find yourself a good job, scrape your pennies together and move to the safest suburb your meagre income can afford pronto. I hear Whitby, Wellington’s white suburb, has a few houses up for rent. Your mother would sleep well at night knowing her princess is safe.

And this pisses me right off. This reporting it the sort of shit we’re used to seeing in confederate America. We watch Mike Moore ‘documentaries’ (and I’m using the term liberally), and we laugh along at rednecks training for the incoming invasion of Ruskies and Towelheads, but New Zealand? Wellington? Tell me I’m dreaming.

It appears not. With perfect levity, One Network News ran a story on women’s safety. “Women now live lives of freedom unimaginable fifty years ago, but experts in self defence warn that freedom might have come at the cost of safety.” Now please don’t misinterpret me. It’s a good and fine thing to promote safety; it’s certainly a noble cause. But is an expert in self defence the most reliable barometer on the level of safety in Wellington? Not whatsoever.

Don’t believe me? Hear from our ‘expert’, Jill Gower: “I’m hugely pessimistic. Actually my big message is don’t put yourself in dangerous situations. Pretend you’re not home if you have to, if you’re home alone. If you’re living alone pay as much rent as you can and live in a safe area or get a boarder that you trust. Try not to live alone.”

Jill has a black belt in Karate, and I can safely say could kick my ass if it came to a fight, but she’s wrong.

It’s not what she’s saying, rather what she’s implying. It’s like interviewing crazy Jo in his tinfoil helmet, convinced that “the Martians are coming! The Martians are coming!” Jill defines a dangerous situation, as any situation where you’re alone, and as such, with her glass half empty, she lives in perpetual fear.

My mother lives in fear. According to her, everything kills you. Anything will destroy you, and, bless her heart she’s spot on. The world is fraught with danger, but just like Jill, she’s obsessed with it. Jill begs you not to answer the door, pretend you’re not home. It’s sensible, so sensible in fact that no-one thinks of the terrible consequences her doomsaying promotes. If I were living in Johannesburg or Mumbai, I’d certainly adapt to the circumstances, but the day I let myself crumble to this hypochondria in Wellington, is the day I castrate myself.

We become flaccid when we wrap ourselves in woollen mittens, we loose touch with the world around us when we build our tiny towers of safety high above the terror below. I know, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. The consequences of fear strung out in barbed wire and electric fencing. And surrounded by alarms and burglar bars, we forget that this part of the world enjoys a phenomenal level of safety. Jill’s case is simply grossly overstated.

Within reason. But that’s bloody obvious now, isn’t it. We don’t need the telly to tell us what we already know. What we certainly don’t need is our nation’s station rattling the cage without reasonable cause.

But of course, no-one’s going to listen. Fear sells, and we appear to lap it up. I’m already looking forward to the letters that denounce me because I have a penis and therefore no right to hold this opinion. I’ll advise you to approach cautiously. Two insurance salesmen and a plumber later, I’m getting the hang of this taser business.


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  1. Aaron Barlow says:

    I personally would love to be a woman in Wellington. Women hold equal political and economic power to men (contrary to what Politically correct fascist propoganda says) and they they also have all the sexual power, as they have had since time immemorial.
    Women are the ones to be protected and preserved on a biological level, as they are the ones that give birth, all women thus have an innate sense of self worth on a primal level despite body image issues. This is 1 reason men underachieve and more men commit suicide. Women are also mentally tougher and have a need to control their environment as biologically speaking they are designed to provide the optimal power conditions in which to raise their offspring, this is why women are innately controlling and try to suppress men’s sexuality if it doesn’t suit them.
    I personally would love to have women wolf whistle at me or find me attractive but unless you’re a tall dark pretty boy men don’t get to feel desired in that way.
    Maybe the jogging lady should get the sex change and feel what it’s like to to be perpetually horny and extremely aroused by women’s bodies constantly, it takes a variety of factors for women to be aroused, it just takes a hot bod for a man (which actually can take many forms for different guys).
    It’s tough being a guy.

  2. Laura says:

    Sucks to be you. Although you apparently know a very large amount about the inner-workings of the female mind for someone of the non-female variety (unless you are a chick called Aaron, and that’s fine).

    I gotta agree with you – wolf-whistles just make me feel SO attractive, and are a fantastic way for my male counterparts to express their obvious and immense respect for me as a woman. Oh how I dig it.

    As for the equal economic power, Wellington is a legal ‘hub’ of sorts, yet female lawyers earn 80% of a male wage (Grant Morris said so, therefore it must be true). However, as maths was invented by men (e.g. Pythagoras), you can equate as you please.

    One point I really do agree with = “women are innately controlling and try to suppress men’s sexuality if it doesn’t suit them”. I definitely prefer my men whipped, which is probably why I’m single, but oh-so-“sexually powerful”. Llllrrrrowww!

  3. Gloomspawn says:

    Women are pretty metal too. Ever seen those metal bitches stretch a mosh at the Valve? Crust as fuck.

  4. sandrah says:

    From sandrah Bemba ,
    Refugee square camp
    Thriechville, abidjan
    Cote d’ ivoire, west africa.

    Attention: good friend,
    Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you,I am sandrah Bemba a refugee from congo living in refugee camp in abidjan cote d ivoire, the daughter of late Dr. Mitchelle Bemba.I was searching for a good and reliable person who will assist me and my younger brother kingsley in this transaction.

    My father was a very wealthy cocoa /timber exporting merchant based in Kinshasa, before he was poisoned to death by his business associates on one Of their outing to discuss on a business. When our mother died on the 21st October 1989, our father took us so special because we are motherless.

    Before the death of our father on 29th june 2006 in a private hospital here in Abidjan.
    He secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has the sum of Nine million five hundred thousand united states dollars which he deposited in a bank here in Abidjan, that the money is being kept for me and my younger brother.
    He later disclose the name of the bank to me and also handed over the banking documents to me and ask me to seek for a reasonable foreigner who can help and assist us transfer the money abroad for our future.

    I have also make enquiries to the bank where he deposite the money and confirmed it.
    He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates that i should seek for a foreign partner in any country of my choice where we will transfer this money and use it for investment purposes for our future.
    Dear, we are honourably seeking for your assistance in the following ways.
    1) to serve us as the guardian of this fund since we are teenagers and now living in the refugee camp.
    2) to help us transfer this money into your own personal account to enable you help us invest this money in your country on our behalf before we can be able to come down to continue with our education in your country over there.
    Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded.

    Now permit me to ask these few questions:-
    1. Can you honestly help me as your daughter?
    2. Can I completely trust you?
    3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you after the money is in your account?

    Please, Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible. My email is:
    Thanks and remain blessed.
    Your’s faithfully, sandrah Bemba

  5. Gloomspawn says:

    Salient needs more metal… and more articles pertaining to West Africa.


  6. Jill Gower says:

    Boy, I wish I’d seen this before now. It’s old hat but still, it has my name on it so it’s worth a comment. I’m not entirely sure the point of the article except to say you disagree with airing my words of caution on National telly. I admit the clip came off like an old Billy Connelly skit about the old fashioned English TV closedowns (before 24 hr viewing) when the announcer would remind those ‘home alone’ to lock their doors and windows… and check behind the couch!!!

    From my perspective my message at the time was a reaction to all the nonsense I’ve seen in the media regarding women’s safety and the idiot attitudes some people have towards martial arts training. I’m constantly astounded women think I could necessarily kick a big guy’s ass because I wear a black belt in karate… hang on, even you perpetuated that B.S.! I’m better equipped than your average 60kg female but in a real fight odds remain even, chuck a weapon in & even a big male blackbelt is up the creek.

    I’m mortified at Taebo ads which flash from women holding up their tiny, limp wristed, ineffectual fists and saying they feel more confident walking down the street at night. I’ve even read an article in a newspaper about a 70+yr old woman who’d done a few sessions of senior citizen karate and had decided to reclaim the night. Fab for them so long as they never face an attacker and sure, chances are they won’t in this country but when I was approached to ‘show a few self defence moves’ be damned if I was going to perpetuate the nonsense.

    My message wasn’t aimed at your average kiwi mum or granny because in my experience they’re not the ones asking and they’re not the ones putting themselves in silly situations. I was aiming my message at your average victim, the ones like those who come to me with big, watery, hopeless eyes and a reserved room at the local refuge, the ones who choose junkies and pimps to parent their children and even the smart girls who get smashed off their faces and are just lucky if their mates hang around to hold their hair back and see them home. I was talking to the women who habitually put themselves in danger, for whatever reason, because if even one of them thought, ‘oh, maybe it’s time I took responsibility for myself and my kids’ then it was worth the airtime. Yes there’s a danger I may have made your mum and her biddies more paranoid but that’s something I can live with.

    In hindsight I wish I’d read the material written by Sue Lyttolis on self defence prior to the interview. She’s a kiwi lady with a really sensible message. Her books are out of print but I recommend a trip to the local library to anyone who has any concerns about self defence for themselves or their loved ones.

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