As the saying goes, a week in politics is a long time. Yes, it is less than a week since Cunliffe made his declaration of shame – apologising for being a man – and the media fisticuffs for the moral high ground is showing no sign of losing intensity, case in point this editoral from NZ Herald.
There’s been numerous articles written by various media throughout the country, and I’ve made a contribution to the debate here already however I think this particular incident will be remembered long past this election campaign, for a variety of reasons.
The moment I saw the first report of Cunliffe’s apology, my instant personal-response was …
“you conceited bastard”.
Regardless of where I sit in the domestic violence debate, I watched as Cunliffe arrogantly raised himself above the party policy he was presenting; he made himself more important, and in spite of that it is not why I thought him “a conceited bastard”.
Regardless of my opinions of refuges, how could you front up to a room of refuge women, and dish out a blanket back-handed apology, with all the assumptions that embodies.
I know what happened to you, I know how you feel, and I’m here to ease your pain.
How condescending can one man be?
I watched the clip, with his deepened voice and drawn face as he trotted out his personal commiseration for the collective state of New Zealand manhood. Apologists raced to the rescue.
No! No! You’ve missed the important point he was trying to make and raised their various excuses. You know what I mean, we’ve all heard them all before and I’m quoting from the Herald article here.
Domestic violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men against women and children.
Apart from not being factually true, that is not what Cunliffe said.
“I don’t often say it – I’m sorry for being a man,” Cunliffe said, “because family and sexual violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.”
I had someone try to tell me this week, that Cunliffe couldn’t be guilty of making an inference against all men as he had qualified his statement with ‘because’.
I tried not to laugh (it takes such a sad state of mind to dream up something quite that cute) but I did.
Putting that aside for a moment, this is not an off the cuff statement; it is a planned pre-prepared speech for a policy launch, as well as the centre piece of the
NZ Labour Party NZ Domestic Violence Party’s social policy and because this is the BECAUSE …
… sexual violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men
… family violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men
Do you see what I did there? I put sexual violence first, before domestic violence.
Why would you casually throw sexual violence and domestic violence into the same sentence and expect rational people to believe you weren’t on an all-men-are-bastards crusade.
Not all men are bastards … because … all men are bastards.
When does B not equal B?
The Herald Editor drops back to the traditional position of ‘the wife-beater is always wrong’ (oddly enough the last time I heard that was from a former editor of the NZ Herald) and qualifies this;
The idea that the woman may be equally to blame, even if she is also violent and even the initiator of the violence, is simply not acceptable. It is an excuse often heard from the unmanly and it should never be given a respectful hearing. Men have the physical advantage. It may be unfashionable to say so but it should not need to be said.
Breaking news for this editor:
Yes, it is no longer fashionable for the editor of a major paper to make such bizarre claims about violence and you should be locked up for inciting social unrest.
When the wife beater philosophy existed the most violence you saw from a women on TV was poking her tongue out behind someone’s back, or a slap across the face in an adult movie.
In the age of equality, suggesting that women are entitled to engage and indulge themselves in partner violence, at their whim, is obscene.
Worse though, is this encourages young girls to engage in trial and error behaviour to see what level of violence is useful in relationships, what level of violence is socially acceptable when they are in public, and just who might be bold enough to restrict this entitlement.
Does this by default fall to the police and the courts?
My first thought upon reading this NZ Herald editorial; “how would you rate the professionalism of an editor who would ingratiate themselves to such a socially retarded political position.”
If anyone knows who the author of this Herald article is – please feel free to both ‘out them’ and point this out to them.