Outrage At Porn Stars’ Use Of Americana In Parade
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 28 AUGUST 2008
Outrage Over Porn Stars’ Use Of Americana In Parade
An email to Cr Cathy Casey, Auckland City Council from Kathy Nilssen, from Mountain View, California, USA. Statement reprinted with permission
I follow the New Zealand newspapers online from Mountain View, California, which lies in the center of Silicon Valley, near Stanford University. I am a repeat tourist to New Zealand and had just bought a non-refundable ticket the day before the Boobs on Bikes parade took place. I was so deeply disgusted that my initial reaction was to cancel my five-week vacation.
I'm sure you understand every level of revulsion this event provokes but as an American I was particularly offended at the sight of women straddled upon Harley Davidsons with American flags and stars and stripes panties. I am from Wisconsin, Milwaukee the blue-collar town that crafts Harley Davidsons and have Milwaukee family serving in the Iraq war. I am so angry I can barely express myself in this letter.
I am a former incentive travel consultant and until now had top admiration for New Zealand's travel industry. I would like you to know that I contacted the following people/organizations (phone and email) regarding the parade:
NZ Embassy,Washington DC;
US Embassy, Wellington;Harley Davidson Public Relations,
lwaukee, Wisconsin; eber Shandwick, Chicago;
The Milwaukee Journal; Lonely Planet; Qualmark New Zealand; Christchurch Press; San Francisco Chronicle travel editor; National Organization of Women and the Oprah Winfrey Show, Chicago
The court states that the parade falls under the protection of New Zealand's constitution. I think travellers, especially women, should be aware of New Zealand's policy and the attitude this projects towards women. Thirty thousand jeering men on Queen Street doesn't cut it as a vacation destination. I appreciate your hard work but I am left with the deepest disappointment in your country.
The iconic American symbols of flag and Harley are hijacked, leveraged and trashed. The Dominion photos leave me with the impression that Auckland is a city of misogynistic oiks. How your country ever came to giving the world Kate Sheppard is beyond me. God knows if she were alive she'd petition to have her face taken off of the ten dollar bill.
Kathy Nilssen, Mountain View California, 26 August 2008