Gang-rape cartoon in Orientation-week Salient

This week’s issue of Salient has a new cartoon by Grant Buist, a former friend of mine. I say former, because this is really going to be the last straw.

You see, the cartoon, which can be found on his blog, has a panel depicting a first-year student in a very short dress, struggling to keep her door shut, on a ‘rubgy player’ – with the caption: she “narrowly avoids impregnation by rugby team during Orientation”.
This cartoon purports to be a 21st century update of Hogath’s famous 18th century series of engravings, “The Rake’s Progress”(background here), and is proposed to run as a serial in this year’s magazine.

Buist has excused himself thus:

Actually, something good that may come out of this would be discussion of the issue I’m highlighting above – many 18-year-old girls get massively shitfaced during Orientation, and are preyed upon. If you look at the crime incident maps distributed by the police (which are sometimes reproduced in Magneto), you can see that many of Wellington’s sexual assaults are committed in dark alleys near Courtenay Place, where hopelessly drunk girls have stumbled while trying to get home. It’s entirely possible, considering how the Orientation issue of Salient is full of advice for first-years, that some girls may read this panel and think “Right. Something to avoid.”

Really, if there’s anyone who should be annoyed, it’s rugby teams.

So, it’s just ‘one more time round the block’ for the tired old argument that ‘girls bring rape on themselves’, and we should police women’s behaviour – not that rapists are criminals, and we should police men’s behaviours.

There’s another good post on the subject here.

If you also find this offensive, please tell the editor of Salient, Sarah Robson,, as she has already replied to one member of the VUW Women’s Group that she thinks it’s not a big issue. I guess she just doesn’t get the point.

12 thoughts on “Gang-rape cartoon in Orientation-week Salient

  1. Just for curiosity, what would you say of a woman that did not find the cartoon offensive but actually funny?

  2. What’s funny about it Mafalda? Assuming you actually really do find it funny and you’re not just trolling.

  3. Hi LJ,
    Firstly, I think you exaggerate. I just posted my question here and in your blog. I believe that cannot be called everywhere.
    Secondly, I can’t explain you why, sorry. That might influence anarkaytie’s response, if any.

  4. Hi Spadely,
    I posted here looking for information, not debate. If I knew there is possible to discuss that here, I’ll do it, but it does not sound worthy to me.

  5. Mafalda:

    excuse the slow corner, I’ve been busy.

    In response to your question:

    I would echo LJ & ask “which troll are you?”, as I have a following of misogynists who constantly change aliases to pretend that they are other people, instead of the same old misogynist from last time.

    If you really do think it’s funny for a woman to be standing against her door, trying to hold off a rapist who has got one limb around her door-frame, you’re a bloke. That simple.

    Or else a very self-satisfied woman who thinks that she has so much heterosexual priviledge that it would never happen to her, because ‘she’s not that kind of girl’ – actually, to a rapist, any female is game, and ‘live’ isn’t neccessary, either.

    I’ve had a lot of experience listening to young women tell me their stories of sexual abuse and rape – I defy anything to surprise me now – and I consider any attempts to trivialise the acts of rapists to be further abuse of those who have already been abused enough – the multitude of sexual abuse and rape survivors all over this country.

  6. Hi anarkaytie,
    Thanks for taking the time to response my question. I’m not a troll. I come from a different cultural background and, as part of my adaptation process in this country, I take any opportunity I have to understand better the society I’m living in. That’s all.
    Much appreciated.

  7. “It’s entirely possible, considering how the Orientation issue of Salient is full of advice for first-years, that some girls may read this panel and think “Right. Something to avoid”.”

    If that’s all it takes, then the original comic should have rid the world of female binge-drinking and rape in one move.

    Pretty lame, Buist. But then, the guy’s a dick.

  8. Thanks, Ryan.

    Yeah, I consider it a pretty dumb thing for him to do in Wellington, where most of his ex-girlfriends (and their long-suffering support crews) live, but that’s another story.

    your time is up, I moderate this blog.

  9. Grant Buist’s cartoon is right on the money – you don’t need to be a misogynist like me to observe that many little first year girls DO wear tiny outfits and get apocalyptically hammered all over town, and many of them seem oblivious to the risks.

    Perhaps a well-drawn cartoon, reasonably widely circulated in the salient will prompt one or two of them to think about this? If so I would suggest that Buist’s work has done some tangible good, which is more than I would credit to this safe, trendy piece of outrage.


  10. The exchange between mafalda and anarkaytie is testament to a number of things:

    1) The left are hopelessly Eurocentric, believing their brand of equality should be imposed on all cultures. Cultural imperialism, anyone?

    2) Cultural relativism, an underpinning notion of social democratic thought, is both irrational and contradictory. On the one hand, anarkaytie rebukes mafalda for being a troll when he makes a seemingly sexist/misogynistic comment – then goes on to pass judgment on him, insinuating he is a typical bloke, and that blokes are typically desensitised to matters regarding rape. How very hypocritical.

    3) Anarkaytie fails to cater for the complexity of the way different cultures deal with gender issues. At best, this is another example of Eurocentrism. At worst, this can be construed as an instance of cultural insensitivity.

    4) For the record, studies show that 40% of sexual harassment complaints by women are frivolous, unfounded, motivated by various motives – or completely fabricated. Therefore, just because a woman makes a rape or sexual harassment complaint, it doesn’t automatically make it factual or true. I find that in New Zealand, there seems to be a propensity for the complainant, especially a female one, to be immediately given the benefit of the doubt. A male who has a complaint lodged against him is immediately regarded as guilty, even before he has had the opportunity to defend himself or explain the circumstances. This is testament to the left’s attempts at gender equality resulting in a disproportionate result. Unfortunately, this is an inevitable consequence of allowing the unfettered promulgation and propagation of uber-feminist and politically correct ideas.

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