Dunedin march against rape culture

01:47, Oct 10 2014
INTENTIONS: 'The original intent of this page was purely out of respect and nothing less,' Sean McDonald wrote on Facebook.

Members of Dunedin's defunct Rack Appreciation Society Facebook page are to get a clear message from a rape culture march through the city tomorrow.

The 2000-member men-only Rack Appreciation Society page exhibited explicit photos of woman without their consent and caused outrage in the city this week.

Administrator of the page University of Otago student Sean McDonald apologised and shut the page down in the midst of the backlash.

As part of the fallout, others associated with the Rack Appreciation Society are to feel the full force of non-appreciation of their actions tomorrow, spokeswoman for the Freely and Willingly March Dianne Smith of Rape Crisis Dunedin said.

The event was not initially organised in response to the outlawed page, but marchers would be making the most of the opportunity to show their disgust in the Facebook situation, Smith said.

"The timing has been completely coincidental, but we do intend to highlight the Rack Appreciation Society as an issue that is part of wider concerns we hope to address.


"The purpose of the march is to make a stand against rape culture ... we see the Rack Appreciation Society as an example of rape culture in action. When we use the term 'rape culture', we are talking about a culture where rape and sexual abuse are condoned, trivialised or endorsed.

"In this instance we've got this page where nude photos of women were shared without their consent, from our point of view that is sexual abuse.

"And we have this cultural response in which people are saying 'oh, it was just a joke, these women should just get over it'.

"That sort of response is part of rape culture because it's excusing the men who are involved in doing this and putting the blame on women who are affected."