The time that I actually replied to a so-called "news" item.

| by Lou | 1.00pm UK time |

I saw this "NZ women promiscuous - doctor" item on NZ Herald in the weekend, which goes along the lines of:

"Oh hai guys, this gynaecologist in Timaru who has a conservative right-wing Christian woman-hating agenda basically thinks that Kiwi women are sluts who have slept with everyone in the world and don't know who their baby-daddies are. He has some ridiculous and patently untrue so-called statistics that I am going to quote verbatim and not bother doing any further research on. And I'm certainly not going to offer any other opinions as that would lessen the impact of this story that is designed to get myself some internet hits by further contributing to the sexual judgement placed on women by society."

(Oh and guess what - 63% of people think NZ women are too promiscuous! And guess what else! 63% of people should mind their own fucking business!)

And I reacted something like this:

And having already been boycotting for over a year now didn't want to lose my other main source of NZ current affairs by adding NZ Herald to the list, even though they've had an increasing number of entirely redundant and agenda-pushing so-called "news" items of late. So I clicked the "email the writer" link and fired off this:

Even by the appalling low standards of journalism plaguing New Zealand, your article quoting a misogynist gynaecologist with an inflated sense of importance is utterly abhorrent.

You've given an entire article to a doctor who talks of personally having women tell him they don't know who they slept with to become pregnant, and that this occurs "thousands and thousands" of times - without having researched any actual statistics or given any space to alternative points of view (or seemingly even bothering to question him about his baseless extrapolation).

Would it not have made sense to question him on the role men are playing in this? To have looked at trends over time? To have question him on his obvious judgementalism in relation to medical ethics?

Your article is proof that there is still plenty of stigmatism going on in New Zealand towards sexually active women. And provides proof that you probably, like the doctor, hate women.

The only sensible course of action this article prompts is for all Timaru women to boycott this doctor - who wants to show their vagina to a medical so-called professional who is more concerned about moral judgements than medical health?

And he replied with this:

Dear Lou,

Thanks for your feedback. I certainly did question him on how often he saw women who couldn't remember who they had slept with the night before and his response about "thousands and thousands" was his reply. I am a reporter of this story, but it is not the last word on the issue - more stories have been written since and will be written in the future. You may like to send a letter to the editor to:

With best wishes,

And then this "Sex poll only half the story" appeared on NZ Herald and I realised with joy that I wasn't the only one to fire off a FUCK YOU and I think (hope) they may have learnt a lesson.

2 thoughts on “The time that I actually replied to a so-called "news" item.”


    Good on you to telling them what's what and, also, to the journalist for actually writing back!

    I know someone who was actually at that Family First conference where he spoke, and said that he was completely incapable of operating the remote for his PowerPoint presentation. The speech was periodically interrupted by him calling out to IT for assistance to display the correct slide for him. I HATE HIM EVEN MORE NOW!!

  2. I was glad to see that last article (that quoted researchers from the Dunedin study)- before then there were THREE separate articles about the original issue (two about the doctor from Timaru, and then one about a therapist who sees lots of traumatised sluts, and quotes from the doctor were in that one too), all of which were hideously biased and full of vague claims and anecdotal "evidence".