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Zed campaigners post ‘rape joke’ about Greens candidate

By Charlotte Harper - 1 July 2016 26

Offensive material

Supporters of ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja have attached to the dashboard of one of their campaign vehicles text on a photograph of his key opponent, Greens candidate Christina Hobbs, saying she wants “a railing” (slang for violent sex), sparking social media outrage and calls for an apology on the eve of the Federal election.

A photograph of Ms Hobbs’ fellow Greens candidate Carly Saeedi also appears on the dashboard with the words, “I’ll give your refugee a loving home.”

Ms Hobbs has posted video of the Seselja campaign van on her Facebook page showing the offending material in position on the dashboard. She was alerted to the material via a tweet. The Greens have described the material as a “rape joke” on their Facebook feed.

“Last night I was tweeted at by a young woman who was walking home past Senator Seselja’s office when she spotted his campaign mini-van parked out the front with disturbing images of me and the Greens’ candidate for Fenner taped to the front dashboard with vile and sexist comments,” Ms Hobbs wrote on Facebook.

“The comment attached to my image included the phrase that “I want a railing”, the word “railing” being a term for violent sex, often associating with rape.

“I’m sure this was all intended as a joke, but in 2016, it’s just not funny.”

Ms Hobbs added that having put her hand up for public office, she had expected a certain level harassment.

“When you’re a female candidate you understand it’s going to be particularly vile and often sexual in nature. But what you don’t expect, is that your male political opponent is somehow going to be “in on the joke” – busing around a group of young men who seem set on harassment and intimidation.

Screen grab from video

“Throughout this campaign both me and my campaign team have put up with aggressive behaviour by a group of young men dressed in “Team Zed” jackets being bused around who I understand are largely from interstate.”

Ms Hobbs said it was ironic that today, on the last day of the campaign, she was due to announce a policy to reduce violence against women and support domestic violence survivors.

She also said Senator Seselja had been seen climbing in and out of the offending van this week.

Labor Senator Katy Gallagher has shared Ms Hobbs’ post and added her own words of support, saying the incident was “simply appalling” and could not be excused or ignored by Senator Seselja.

“He should immediately apologise to Christina Hobbs and explain exactly why this material, openly and violently degrading a female candidate, was in his campaign bus,” Senator Gallagher said.

RiotACT contacted Mr Seselja for comment and received the following statement from Canberra Liberals President Arthur Potter in response:

“Zed has unequivocally condemned this type of juvenile behaviour, it is absolutely unacceptable and we have no time for it. Zed has apologised for any offence caused and has spoken to all campaign volunteers regarding this matter.”
 

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26 Responses to
Zed campaigners post ‘rape joke’ about Greens candidate
madelini 4:23 pm 02 Jul 16

Masquara said :

KentFitch said :

Arthur Davies said :

Arthur Davies said :

Zed showing his true colours

Oh – I don’t think its Zed really. Just some idiot campaigners. I actually didnt know that term or that it is slang for rape.

It’s not slang for rape. But if you say “Team Zed made a sex joke” you don’t rile up as many people as if you say they made a rape joke.

At best, it’s a gendered sex slur. At worst, it is a rape “joke”. Note how no comments like this were made about Simon Sheikh?

It’s about consent. Making a sex “joke” where the subject would never consent in the real world means that it strays dangerously close to rape territory, even if it is only implied. This isn’t funny anymore, if indeed it ever was.

Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull walk into a bar………….

“Arrrgghhhh. Why are you saying Shorten and Turnbull are alcoholics!!! They would never consent to such a horrible experience, stop contributing to booze culture!!!”

Going back to my point, helpfully quoted above, Shorten and Turnbull walking into a bar and buying drinks implies agency and consent. It’s also not violent.

Why is it that jokes about men are never sexualised in the way that jokes about women are?

HenryBG 3:54 pm 02 Jul 16

Grail said :

TuggLife said :

It is unclear from this statement as to whether Senator Seselja has actually apologised directly to Ms Hobbs and Ms Saeedi, or if his team has simply put a statement out on his behalf. It is also unclear what action has been taken against those who were responsible for this reprehensible behaviour. I would like more information on both of those points from the Senator. I would expect that given the Senator’s values and the fact that he himself has a daughter, he would find this type of behaviour particularly offensive.

I heard his apology on the radio, unqualified and addressed to Hobbs directly.

Too late – we know what kind of people he has working for him.

But realistically – we share this planet with hundreds of millions of people who are quite simply a@#holes. We should be very happy that in *our* country, a complaint such as this one results in an apology. In many other countries, the complaint wouldn’t be taken seriously, or alternatively, would only be taken seriously by a deputation of torch-wielding religidiots intent on further victimising the victim.

Masquara 12:13 pm 02 Jul 16

TuggLife said :

It is unclear from this statement as to whether Senator Seselja has actually apologised directly to Ms Hobbs and Ms Saeedi, or if his team has simply put a statement out on his behalf. It is also unclear what action has been taken against those who were responsible for this reprehensible behaviour. I would like more information on both of those points from the Senator. I would expect that given the Senator’s values and the fact that he himself has a daughter, he would find this type of behaviour particularly offensive.

I heard his apology on the radio, unqualified and addressed to Hobbs directly.

Mordd 11:47 pm 01 Jul 16

So railing doesn’t mean rape by itself, but thats a misconstruing of what Christina actually said.

“the word “railing” being a term for violent sex, often associating with rape”

It IS a term for violent sex, quick google search confirms that (check UrbanDictionary for example to see many ppl see it this way), but it does not mean rape outright. However violent sex is often associated with rape or lack of consent, so its not a stretch to say “often associated with rape”. Maybe a tiny bit of exaggeration there, but not by much.

gooterz 8:17 pm 01 Jul 16

railed… railroaded..

chewy14 7:41 pm 01 Jul 16

KentFitch said :

Arthur Davies said :

Arthur Davies said :

Zed showing his true colours

Oh – I don’t think its Zed really. Just some idiot campaigners. I actually didnt know that term or that it is slang for rape.

It’s not slang for rape. But if you say “Team Zed made a sex joke” you don’t rile up as many people as if you say they made a rape joke.

At best, it’s a gendered sex slur. At worst, it is a rape “joke”. Note how no comments like this were made about Simon Sheikh?

It’s about consent. Making a sex “joke” where the subject would never consent in the real world means that it strays dangerously close to rape territory, even if it is only implied. This isn’t funny anymore, if indeed it ever was.

Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull walk into a bar………….

“Arrrgghhhh. Why are you saying Shorten and Turnbull are alcoholics!!! They would never consent to such a horrible experience, stop contributing to booze culture!!!”

VicePope 4:56 pm 01 Jul 16

Another reason, as if one were needed, to put Zed last. He’s been a dud, at least as much as the somewhat greyer dud he replaced.
No, no-one else from any party is a stand-out, but this bloke is useless and, apparently, supported by a bunch of offensive drones. We’re a smart, well-educated electorate and we can do better,

madelini 4:43 pm 01 Jul 16

Arthur Davies said :

Arthur Davies said :

Zed showing his true colours

Oh – I don’t think its Zed really. Just some idiot campaigners. I actually didnt know that term or that it is slang for rape.

It’s not slang for rape. But if you say “Team Zed made a sex joke” you don’t rile up as many people as if you say they made a rape joke.

At best, it’s a gendered sex slur. At worst, it is a rape “joke”. Note how no comments like this were made about Simon Sheikh?

It’s about consent. Making a sex “joke” where the subject would never consent in the real world means that it strays dangerously close to rape territory, even if it is only implied. This isn’t funny anymore, if indeed it ever was.

DragonRyda 4:35 pm 01 Jul 16

I hate the often used term “apologise for any offence caused”. It makes it sound like offence is optional. If that was my van, I would say. “I am offended by this. I find this to be offensive and disturbing, and i wholeheartedly apologise for the offence that was caused. It was my vehicle, and I take responsibility. Though we are competitors, I intend us to compete only on public issues, and never on personal”. But no, we just get a meh cookie cutter meaningless response.

lobster 4:33 pm 01 Jul 16

I didn’t think that “Railed” was a term for rape. Is it?

Regardless, what kind of idiot compaigners do this?

chewy14 4:30 pm 01 Jul 16

I would have actually said this is poor form from Zed’s supporters if Ms Hobbs didn’t try and exagerrate this by trying to link the language used to rape.

“often associating with rape”.

Puhhllleeaaaassseeee.

Mysteryman 4:24 pm 01 Jul 16

Arthur Davies said :

Arthur Davies said :

Zed showing his true colours

Oh – I don’t think its Zed really. Just some idiot campaigners. I actually didnt know that term or that it is slang for rape.

It’s not slang for rape. But if you say “Team Zed made a sex joke” you don’t rile up as many people as if you say they made a rape joke.

sportsmum 3:56 pm 01 Jul 16

It is unclear from this statement as to whether Senator Seselja has actually apologised directly to Ms Hobbs and Ms Saeedi, or if his team has simply put a statement out on his behalf. It is also unclear what action has been taken against those who were responsible for this reprehensible behaviour. I would like more information on both of those points from the Senator. I would expect that given the Senator’s values and the fact that he himself has a daughter, he would find this type of behaviour particularly offensive.

rommeldog56 3:33 pm 01 Jul 16

Arthur Davies said :

Zed showing his true colours

Oh – I don’t think its Zed really. Just some idiot campaigners. I actually didnt know that term or that it is slang for rape. There u go.

Regardless, its unacceptable.

Mordd 3:25 pm 01 Jul 16

Zed showing his true colours

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