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We’re back with another heavy issue. We left all of them to the second half of the year because it seemed too scary and hard at the start.
We received an email last week and at first we laughed it off, but then it became increasingly concerning. The email, in its essence, worked from a place of defending those that the sender deemed to be the centre of our criticisms over the last few weeks. The past three or four weeks have been largely dedicated to voices that are underrepresented in the mainstream media. In response the sender was accusing us of victimising white men. Of course.
The letter worked through the different articles that took particular aim at these supposedly victimised people (read: the most privileged group in society). These articles were, coincidentally, some of the best writing we have published this year. They were brave explorations of being Māori, being a woman, being non-binary, and being not-white.
Obviously no one is saying that white people and men don’t experience pain or suffering. No one said that ever. What we are saying is that structurally, politically, socially, certain groups are marginalized and we need to talk about it. Power has been in the hands of one group, and it’s time that this power was redistributed.
We are all learning, growing people. We each have had moments where our pre-established views and opinions morph and change. We have our perspectives challenged and unsettled. This is healthy and important. One of our hopes for this year was to provide a platform for as many voices and perspectives as possible. A voice that is poly-formed and multi-faceted is unsettling to those used to normative perspectives.
Thank you to this person, because never have we so vehemently disagreed with someone. Their argument is one that resonates for probably far too many people. It is born out of feeling personally victimised and angry; a sensation people might experience when the problematic behaviours and actions of a group that they identify with are criticised and challenged, rather than listening to and considering those challenges.
This issue features some incredible articles: Eve Kennedy’s brave and unflinching exploration of the legal and medical side of sexual violence prosecution, Sophie Wynn’s piece looking into the state of mental healthcare in prisons, and the piece on ‘Brogressives’—those people who claim to be progressive but their behaviour suggests otherwise.
We put the email in the trash because it was too depressing to look at.
xoxo, Emma & Jayne