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The case R v A and B shows that Men have no Rights in New Zealand

Copyright Peter Zohrab 2003

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One of the main points I make in my Book Sex, Lies & Feminism is that the Western World, though it has become relatively secular and has remained free of Communist rule, is nonetheless in thrall to an ideology. We have all heard of Political Correctness (which I call Ideological Correctness), but we don't think of it as an ideology, and we aren't aware of how it influences the thinking of the people (such as judges and lawyers) who have power over us.

Even the Fathers' Movement, which is largely hostile to Ideological Correctness, tends to assume that changing court personnel, structures and procedures will be enough to remove anti-male bias in Family Law. In fact, I believe, as a Law Student, that the most important task is to change the attitudes of judges and lawyers. I say this as a Law student, being able to see first-hand how Law students think, and how they are taught to think.

For example, New Zealand has the "New Zealand Bill of Rights" Act 1990 (BORA), which (under section 19(1)), guarantees freedom from discrimination on the ground of sex. The fact of the matter, however, is that "male" is not a "sex" for the purposes of section 19 of BORA -- only "female" cuts the mustard !

I once had a private conversation with Tony Shaw, the prominent Human Rights lawyer who (taking the rough with the smooth) very ably and stimulatingly taught me Public Law and Bill of Rights Law. In that conversation, I said something along the lines that I was in favour of Men's Rights -- at which point he raised the issue of female circumcision. I then countered by mentioning male circumcision, pointing out that the skin that circumcisiion removes is supposedly the most sexually sensitive part of the male anatomy. Then the conversation went something like this:

Tony Shaw: But female circumcision is carried out in order to control women !

Me: Well, male circumcision is carried out in order to control men.

Tony Shaw: Do you have any evidence of that ?

Me: Do you have any evidence that female circumcision is carried out in order to control women ?

Tony Shaw: (Silence).

(I have to admit that I was being totally insincere when I said that male circumcision was done in order to control men. My aim was to demonstrate the absurdity of saying that female circumcision was done in order to control women. Tony Shaw demanded that I should provide evidence for my claim, whereas -- and I was 100% certain of this in advance -- he had absolutely no evidence of his prior claim that female circumcision was carried out in order to "control" women (whatever that may mean)!

Since first writing these words, my attention has been drawn to theories that female circumcision is/was practised in order to reduce women's sexual desires, and, similarly, that male circumcision is/was practised in order to reduce men's sexual desires.  Even if these two theories could be proved true, reducing someone's sexual desire is a far less dramatic concept than that of "controlling" that person!  Sexual desire, after all, is only one aspect of a person, and Feminist talk of "controlling women" conjures up visions of the Evil Patriarchy keeping women in their "proper place."  In fact, societies arguably have an interest in keeping people's sexuality in check, although this has to be balanced against the individual's right to express their own sexuality. 

Men are at a huge disadvantage in the Sex War, when Feminists make these statements, without deigning to provide any evidence -- and Law Faculties and other places are full of people spouting this Feminist dogma, without even knowing if there is any evidence behind it or not!)


The Case in Question

In the case R v A and B (unreported, 3 May 2002, High Court Palmerston North Registry, T 22/01), for example, A (a female) and B (a man) were charged that they sexually violated C (a man) by forcing him against his will to penetrate A's genitalia with his penis. The relevant Law was section 128 of the Crimes Act 1961, which did not clearly state whether the offence of "unlawful sexual connection" could be committed by a woman when she forced a man to penetrate her. Usually, of course, prosecutions under this section involved an accused person (male or female) who had allegedly penetrated the victim in some way. In the end, the High Court judge interpreted the Act in such a way that he was able to acquit the woman of this charge.

My point is that apparently not even the prosecuting lawyer -- let alone the judge -- mentioned the Bill of Rights Act. The nearest the prosecutor came to that was as follows (according to Paragraph 14 of the judgement):

"On the principle of equality of treatment, he submitted there was no occasion to interpret the section in a way which would give women greater protection than men."

The phrase "on the principle of equality of treatment" is apparently a reference to the Common Law, and is not nearly as precise, explicit or binding as a citation of section 19(1) of the Bill of Rights Act would have been. I do not see how a judge could possibly have come to the decision that he came to if the prosecution had cited the Bill of Rights Act.

So why didn't the prosecution cite the Bill of Rights Act ? It is clear to me that the culture within which lawyers work is dominated by (at least some aspects of) Ideological Correctness. In this culture, it is taken for granted that groups such as men, Whites, and heterosexuals are not intended to be covered by legislation such as the Bill of Rights Act.

For example, in a Moot (a practice trial) I tried to use BORA to argue that men are disadvantaged -- only to be told by the lawyer who was acting as the judge that "Men are not a minority." In fact, for him to make this as a relevant remark was absurd and incompetent, because:

The case R v A and B went to the Court of Appeal as R v A (144/02), and the High Court decision was overturned. But even then the phrase "Bill of Rights Act" apparently never sullied the lips of any judge or lawyer !



You can't take the Law at face value. The values that the Law enforces are the ones that the police and legal profession think need to be enforced. If men are to achieve Equality, the thinking of the people who run the legal system has to be changed.


See also:




Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

14 May 2021