Yesterday 'Amy', a eighteen year friend of one of the young women raped by a group of young men known as the 'Roast Busters', rang Radio Live talkback hosts Willie Jackson and John Tamihere.
She wanted to talk about what she knew about the 'Roast Busters' gang, but she was instead the victim of Tamihere and Jackson's misogyny. It was shameful and offensive.
Jackson and Tamihere blamed the girls for getting raped. They demanded to know how much the girls had had to drink and why they had been out late at night. Neither men knew for certain that the girls had been drinking to excess or had been out late at night but that didn't stop them making the accusations. I'm surprised they didn't ask why they had been dressed provocatively because that's usually part of the scenario when men like Tamihere and Jackson try to blame rape victims.
Here we had two powerful and wealthy men dumping on the weak and powerless.
'Amy' rightly commented that the Roast Busters' gang were rapists. This was met by derision by Jackson and Tamihere : "Well if some of the girls have consented that doesn't make them rapists, right?''
They went as far as to claim that some of the girls, some reportedly as young as thirteen - who had supposedly engaged in 'consensual sex' - could come forward and also say they had been raped.
They even declared that the criminal activities of the Roast Busters was simply 'mischief'.
The two talkback hosts displayed their ignorance of the reality of rape. For them, the Roast Busters were just young lads getting their rocks off with some 'willing' underage girls.
This casual dismissal of sexual violence is simply reprehensible. Rape is a weapon of humiliation, power and control. For Jackson and Tamihere to instead ask '"how free and easy are you kids these days?'' was just appalling.
The notion that these young men , who have boasted about their activities on Facebook, are guilty of nothing more than 'mischief' implies that the girls involved women were willing participants in their exploitation and degradation. It is contemptuous of the emotional trauma that these girls have since endured.
Earlier this year two young American men, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, were convicted of raping an unconscious teenage girl. They drove her from party to party, raping her, assaulting her, and filming themselves doing so. Photos were also taken. Like the 'Roast Busters' they boasted of their activities.
That Jackson and Tamihere chose to make light of this is shameful.