The bar for ‘rape’ is now at floor level

A man hugging a man. Is this rape?
A woman hugging a man from behind. Is this rape?
A man hugging a woman. Is that rape? quote.

‘I’m in a very dark place’: Man stood down from Parliament after Speaker Trevor Mallard’s rape claims

[…] Referring last week to the alleged assaults, Mallard said: “We’re talking about serious sexual assault. Well that, for me, that’s rape.”

[…] A colleague at the centre of an unsubstantiated complaint against him three years earlier had come forward again after complainants were urged to do so by the Speaker.

“At no time was I spoken to by the review’s head Debbie Francis which I thought I would have been considering an alleged incident had been investigated and was found to be without merit.
“It’s ironic that the review was about bullying and harassment. I feel I’ve been bullied out of Parliament and harassed within it, particularly by the Speaker’s claim,” the teary-eyed man said.

He said his family was dumbfounded, they couldn’t believe he could be accused of sexual misconduct.
“Arriving home after being stood down I was numb. I sat stunned thinking this can’t be happening to me,” he said.
The complaint was ruled to be unsubstantiated last year, laid two years after the incident happened.
The man said it resulted from working alongside a colleague at Parliament when a clipboard was lost.
“We searched for the clipboard which was important and with great relief we finally found it. She gave me a high five but being a little old-fashioned I hugged her back, that was honestly all there was to it,” […]

A Newspaper end quote.

The NZ Herald deserves credit for this article as they actually were balanced in their coverage. They didn’t take sides and reported that the man’s story matched the evidence that was sighted. quote.

After talking to the man, NewstalkZB saw the finding of the investigation against him, a finding that would usually be kept under wraps by the unimpeachable Parliamentary Service. The finding bore out everything the man had claimed and found the claim against him was unsubstantiated. end quote.

Often with stories like these, it rapidly becomes a #MeToo witch hunt, and men have their careers and characters shredded purely on hearsay, because the stance is taken that the ‘victim’ must always be believed and the man in question is thrown to the wolves.

I wonder if this is the start of a #MeToo purge of parliament like the one that has run unchecked through Hollywood leaving a trail of devastation in its wake?

Perhaps current National leader Simon Bridges started it off when he threw Jami-Lee Ross under the bus and now Speaker Trevor Mallard has picked up the flaming torch and pitchforks and is continuing the hunt?

fire crowd GIF by South Park