NZ outlet Otago Daily Times published an article (republished by  NZ Herald) on 21yo Ronin Ainsley’s conviction for a violently degrading assault on a woman. 

The headline was about how his career might be slightly impeded (except that it won’t) by his conviction for coercing her to visit him, violently tearing her clothes off, punching her, degrading her, throwing her to the ground and threatening her with further violence. 

The first six paragraphs of the article are about his academic and sporting activities, because that’s the most important thing for people to know about a man who violently assaulted his ex-girlfriend. At par 7 we discover that: ” his list of achievements received a severe blight in May 2019″.

The defence lawyer told the court that “Professional athletes can survive run-ins with the law once they are established but in the early days it can be a death sentence,” apparently without any irony or self-awareness. 

It was a 652 word article:

  • Victim’s statement on the effect of the assault: 18 words (3%)
  • Lauding/excusing Ainsley: 263 words (40%)
  • Describing the facts/conviction: 253 words (39%)
  • Comments from the judge: 118 words (18%)

The headline was changed after New Zealanders expressed their disgust, but the article text hasn’t altered. Five years ago we were enraged and nauseated by the judge who gave Brock Turner a gentle pat on the wrist for raping a woman. Evidently the sporting career of violent men is still more important than the women they brutalise. 

(as usual, if you’re reading this on social media, links are in the OP at )

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If you would like to know more about how and why the media’s erasure of men’s violence against women occurs, the Fixed It book is out now! Buy your copy here or at any good bookstore. Extracts available on why Fixed It started in The Guardian, rape and other violence myths in The Age/Sydney Morning Herald and the Good Guy trope on my website.

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