Verity Johnson: Hate speech preacher is disgusting but not surprising

OPINION: I don't need to state the obvious here. Yes, West Auckland pastor Logan Robertson is preaching utter misogyny when he says Jacinda Ardern should get back in kitchen and bake her boyfriend a cake. Yes, this and his other vile comments are hate speech. And yes, it is truly revolting.

But I'm not surprised that he's said it, because it's just an extreme version of what I've heard thousands of times growing up alongside bro culture.

Don't get me wrong. I am lucky to have grown up in the 2000s, which spawned a whole generation of modern men. Men who discuss white privilege, call themselves feminist and start conversations about paid parental leave.

But alongside the development of the 'woke' bloke, there's the subsequent 'bro' backlash.

You'll probably have heard of bro culture. Especially with the waves of stories coming out of Silicon Valley from tech startups which treat female employees with all the dignity of a weevil infestation in the office kitchen.

But bro culture isn't limited to boardrooms. Remember the Wellington College students' comments about rape on Facebook? Or the Roast Busters scandal? Or even just the commonality of people who tweet women every minute to say, STFU bitch?

We saw it the other day when the men's rights activist (MRA) site Return of Kings went viral with an article about how ugly and slutty Kiwis were. You saw the Facebook comments - there was a lot of outrage, but there were also dudes agreeing with them.

Bro culture has been the backdrop of growing up in the '00s. It was there when we were at school a few years ago when the boys in class sat the back rating all of us girls either 'paper bag' or 'potato sack'. (I'll leave you to work that out.)

It was there when the list circulated in my university dorm three years ago ranking all the women by hotness. And even now, it's there on Tinder when girls try to appeal to bro culture with bios like, "gag reflex as absent as my father figure" or "I recognise two states in you, hungry and horny. If you're not hard I'll make you a sandwich."

So no. I'm not surprised. Bro culture is nasty, pervasive and disgustingly persistent. But because it lurks largely in the forgiving folds of Facebook, Reddit, and 4chan we don't understand just how widespread it is. Hence why most of society is shocked when modern neanderthals like Robertson drag it into the spotlight.

But for those of us who've grown up in the "bros before hoes age", we are used to those ladz who have always been hanging around telling us to cook them some eggs.

Verity Johnson is a Newshub columnist and feature writer