WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 06: Scott Kuggeleijn of New Zealand reacts after a dropped catch in the field during game one of the International T20 Series between the New Zealand Black Caps and India at Westpac Stadium on February 06, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The best of The Spinoff this week

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Michelle Langstone: I adore NZ cricket. But I won’t watch until the silence on Kuggeleijn is broken

“There’s an elephant in the changing rooms and his name is Scott Kuggeleijn. As New Zealand Cricket’s governing body you are well aware of the charge of rape that Kuggeleijn faced in court in 2016, and then again in 2017. Kuggeleijn was found not guilty after the second trial. A few months after that, he was selected to tour internationally with the Black Caps.

I have no choice but to accept the outcome of that second trial, and the verdict handed down by the jury, but I do not have to like it. Kuggeleijn admitted the woman in question said no to his advances a number of times. He also texted her the next day and apologised for the mental harm he caused her. His lawyers did everything they could to discredit her, including alluding to her clothing, her behaviour and the amount she had to drink as reasons why she was actually consenting, even if she did say no.

So your silence on Kuggeleign’s history over the weeks since he has played on home soil for the Black Caps has been disturbing, particularly because the issue has been raised fairly frequently, and there’s been ample opportunity for NZ Cricket to publicly respond. As time goes on, your silence has becoming deafening.”

Danyl Mclauchlan: Notes towards a grand unified theory of the terrible National Party sausage ad

“For progressives the ad is an offensive failure because it’s an egregious instance of mansplaining. It’s men explaining maths and politics and economics to a wide-eyed woman! National supporters feel that the ad succeeds because the target audience for the ad is not outraged progressives who would rather die than vote National; instead they’re communicating to demographics who won’t be offended by mansplaining but who might be persuaded by the critique of KiwiBuild.

Here’s my grand conspiracy theory. Progressives are actually the primary target for this ad and it is designed to offend them.”

James K Baxter in 1971. Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post and Dominion newspapers. Ref: EP/1971/1098-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23120359

John Newton: James K Baxter, rapist

“Baxter’s favourite audience for complaints about his sex-life is that revolving cast of other women. As he puts it to Grace Adams, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t say anything of how things go with me at home here; because one is inclined to adopt the whinging tone, which is in me alas a version of the mating call!’

It’s to Phyl Ferrabee in 1960 that Baxter makes these letters’ most appalling disclosure. On the strength of a ‘very sober & perhaps truly considerate knowledge’, he has dealt with his sexual frustration by force: ‘Sex relations with wife resumed. This at least gives some common ground to stand on to clear up difficulties. Achieved by rape. From a very clear knowledge no other way could break down J’s reservations & that she was gradually shoving herself round the bend. She seems ten times happier in herself. But it looks as if each new act will have to repeat the rape pattern.’”

Toby Manhire: Martin Devlin in wild on-air attack on ‘chick from the Spinoff’ over cricket banner

At first listen, I thought Devlin was being serious, but on reflection that seems impossible. Not just because Chapman wasn’t purporting to be acting as a journalist when she staged a modest and peaceful protest (for which, by the way, she received a bunch of supportive private messages from senior figures in both the women’s and men’s game). Moreover, he cannot be serious because it would be heroically incoherent to earnestly argue that journalists should not express their opinions in public if your entire job, if not existence, centres on being a journalist expressing your opinions in public, usually with the guttural cry of a wounded moose. Devlin’s shouty monologues are often smart and funny – he’s won awards for them.

So it’s frankly inconceivable that Devlin and Kayes – who seemed unperturbed at Devlin calling a young woman “that chick” and “the lowest form of life”, so must be in on the joke – are genuinely outraged at Chapman expressing an opinion on an issue that is especially, searingly real for young women. There’s no way they’d seriously be suggesting, would they, that it’s totally cool to express your opinion in public if it’s an important matter like the umpiring review system or who should play second-five for the All Blacks but unacceptable to express your opinion on trivial matters like consent and sexual misconduct?

Danyl Mclauchlan: Not a racist bone in your body? Please meet implicit bias

“All of us have a host of different, sometimes conflicting social identities crowding around inside our minds. I’m white, a male, middle-aged, married, a New Zealander, a father, middle-class, a writer, and so on. We switch between which affiliation feels most salient given the circumstances, primarily identifying with whichever ingroup awards us the higher status. Politicians and other actors are increasingly adept at activating these different identities, manipulating us into defining ourselves in a way that strengthens our connection to them and makes us believe they personally champion our ingroup – which is always the victim of some sinister outgroup.

We think of outgroup discrimination – especially around race – as something very obvious and aggressive (“Go back to where you came from”), or as an ideological justification for that behaviour (“This is our country!” “The white race is the genetically superior master race!”) and there’s often controversy whenever people talk or behave like that, because, well, it’s racist. But what the research into implicit bias shows is that even without that kind of behaviour and rhetoric, even among populations that strongly disapprove of racism you still see ingroup favouritism and outgroup discrimination.”

Emily Writes: Wish you weren’t here: Anti-natalism is just immensely sad

Mumbai businessman Raphael Samuel, 27, should really be a joke right? He’s suing his parents, who are both lawyers, for conceiving him and bringing him into the world. They’re taking it in good humour and there are plenty of easy laughs in the idea that someone could consent before they exist to… existing. But really, there’s not much fun to be had in the idea that someone feels so desperately pained by the world that they’d rather not have been born into it.

At the heart of Samuel’s philosophy of anti-natalism is the argument that life is so full of misery that people should stop procreating immediately.

“There’s no point to humanity,” he says. “So many people are suffering. If humanity is extinct, Earth and animals would be happier. They’ll certainly be better off. Also no human will then suffer. Human existence is totally pointless.”

Some are calling it performance art. Some are calling it eco-activism. It reminded me of something I have been trying to turn away from, while ultimately having to face, for a year now.

Jessie Dennis: Silence about Scott Kuggeleijn reinforces a culture of sexual violence

When cricketer Scott Kuggeleijn took to the pitch for the Black Caps last Friday there was no mention of his two trials for raping a woman in 2016, for which he was ultimately found not guilty. Asks Jessie Dennis, is silence really the best NZ Cricket can do?

Andrew Geddis: David Carter should be ashamed of his anti-democratic select committee stunt

The National MP’s self-righteous defence for halting yesterday’s meeting ignored the essential role the Opposition plays in upholding the select committee process, writes Andrew Geddis.

Jack McDonald: Baxter Week: My Nana, Jacqui Sturm

“I first started learning about just how hard my Nana’s life was when she went into hospital for heart problems while I was teenager. Her elder sister Evadne was down to visit, and as her and I walked around the hospital gardens I remember she told me how Nana would find out about Baxter’s illegitimate children in the press.

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But it wasn’t until late last year, with the publication of the Letters imminent, that I had any clue of just how hard it really was. Any idea of the pain she lived through.

His first-hand accounts of his behaviour as a rapist in his marriage are sickening and have deeply affected me on an emotional level. As I was flicking through the Letters this week I couldn’t get far without having to put the book down again. I believe that Nana would never have wanted these brutal details made public.”

Morbid Slag Angel 69: The worst ever Red Dead Redemption 2 fishing trip


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