Just chiming in on this Cunliffe apologising issue – get it together NZ

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When 25% of women are affected by these kinds of violence – one in four – that’s something epidemic and endemic, and if the best thing someone can do is complain about some empathetic wording, their priorities are in the wrong damn place. That was a good response by Labour; it was hard won and completely ignored by despicably irresponsible press.

Firstly, MEN, TELL YOUR PEOPLE, because they’re not listening to us. Aggressors don’t listen to ‘victims’ because they’re already decided our voices don’t matter. This means it’s your job to support a social change, so instead of needlessly complaining get it together already! Better still support the policy change instead of saying his wording begs a failure in the polls. You’re saying that because Cunliffe decided to do something to actually help the problem he deserves to fail. That means you are so sensitive to your own personal offence you’re standing in the way of an actual real solution, and that is the exact attitude that causes this problem – something trivial to you is more important than something major to someone else.

Don’t support the continuation of the problem. Vote to support the changes we desperately need. Don’t just laugh along with misogyny like you have been for years and don’t just ignore it to be polite or cool, because all of those attitudes – but particularly treating us like chattels (objects and body parts rather than people) – are what leads to violence, and if you’ve ever been aggressive, get some help with your entitlement and lack of control. With stats like that it’s no shock that a good deal of the men I know have perpetuated (or ignored) this sort of thing and despite what they think every woman around them knows about it. I know for a fact a good deal of voices – even those who have come out in support of Cunliffe – have harmed women. So it’s time for some honesty, and I am grateful for their progressive response. Yes it is your problem and yes, ALL MEN need to be working toward a greater social solution and yes ALL MEN should take ownership of that, because a community-based issue requires a community response; that means everyone on board.

It may further interest you to know that a good proportion of outspoken feminist allies I know have personally been responsible for this kind of crummy behaviour in the past. I know their histories and someone out there knows yours, but the person who knows your history most of all is you. I love a great many men and my message is hard hitting but it is not about judgement, it’s about recognising problematic behaviour, understanding why it is wrong, then working to correct it.

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If people knew how many times I’d been sexually assaulted, shoved, demeaned, experienced sexism and been raped just due to going about my everyday life – loving, working, socialising, and walking along a street during the daytime – they’d be horrified. I may tell that story when I’m ready one day. But when people say “Oh men experience that too!” they are incorrect. Men do not experience anything like a huge minority of women. What we deal with is a specific type of intense bombardment; we get attacked worse, we get killed more frequently and we get raped more.

And every time anyone complains about Cunliffe’s choice of words, all I can think of is this, all the work, all the people standing up, every person who signed that petition, every survivor, every victim and every person who depends on this policy being PASSED. While they quibble about words other people’s entire lives depend on policy changes like this. So do I think Cunliffe deserves to get in? You know what? I hate politics and politicking but for goodness sake put your passion in the right place and support the policy. If you vote, vote him in.

Guys tell your peeps and please stop nit-picking about an apology that shows respect and comes from the heart. Because when you reveal your priorities to be more focused on personal offense than a problem of this scale, you are being part of the problem.

46 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Jesse! MSM response to this has been so disturbing – but not surprising considering their preference for columnists who enjoy white male privilege.

  2. Great line,”Because when you reveal your priorities to be more focused on personal offence than a problem of this scale, you are being part of the problem.” That describes most if not all the negative reaction to the speech. Men,tell your people!

  3. You have nailed it with this post Jessie. When people turn a blind eye to injustice because it doesn’t ‘affect’ them or because they are no directly involved society suffers. So as David Cunliffe says, we have stop the bullshit that is domestic violence.

  4. So very well said Jessie, and see the negative votes here!

    There are lots of very sick men in NZ, and lets hope David Cunliffe can get them all sorted out before too many more women and children and babies are raped beaten and killed in the name of ‘masculinity’.

    One day a man said to me: “Do you know why men do these things? Its so simple, no matter what anyone else says about it all – men commit these acts because they can. There is no other reason – just because they can!”
    The man who said this is one of these hideous men who commits acts of violence against whoever he can.

    This attitude is out there – because it is allowed to be out there, and it must be stopped.

    This very serious matter must stay on the table so it has a chance of being fixed.

    I believe it is a psychological disorder – that some, and lots of men think they have a right to do these heinous things. We need to find the right word to use a label, so it can be written into all the psych manuals, and so that proper treatment programs can be established to fix these horrible men! Maybe violent and sexually violent psychopaths is already being used.

    And maybe doing a bit of laser surgery on the brains of these men, to shut off their violence centers would work!

    Good on you Jessie. Don’t worry about any negative comments, they are just giving the thumbs down because they can, and it is all that simple.

    Opinion.

    • Yes had the unfortunate event of meeting a man who ( once I realised I had walked right into his trap), said to me he knows how to get off domestic violence charges. This sent my blood to ice and it turned out he was right and it worked for him. He also is a serial offender.

      • @Kate:

        I cannot comprehend how this post of yours here would cause you any negative votes. It says it all really doesn’t it. There are at least 2 of these type of men reading this post, and then to stamp their poor misguided ‘masculinity’ around the place they vote your words down.

        Well you had better watch out you violent men because your days of abuse are coming to an end! As they jolly well must!

        I am interested Kate to know how this man got away with his domestic violence, as this is an obvious hole that needs to be sorted out and plugged.

        Opinion.

        • He hired a gutter rat lawyer, I had a policeman who really couldn’t be bothered with the paper work or even know what day it was…it’s all the same day to these guys. This was also a very small backwater town. I was set up, and tripped over stupid things the lawyer hammered at me. I was in a vulnerable pathetic state when I think back, I was easy fodder for their manipulation and word games. I shouldn’t have even needed to go to court to defend myself against this bullying lawyer beat up. (This happened to me when i said i wanted to leave this nutty guy) at the court hearing I had a brace holding my upper jaw together which was really badly fractured and holding together what was left of the roots of 5 teeth. I could feel with my tongue the jagged bone from my skull through the roof of my fractured upper jaw, if that wasn’t enough for the court system to see what he had done to me I don’t know what the hell they were trying to prove. The point is he knew what he was doing I didn’t ask him ‘how’ back then as i was just shocked he had said it, i saw it as a threat, but I know he had learnt what he knew from a male friend of his. Also Sofie Elliot, her blessed memory was put through the wringer even though she was dead and we all know who did it, how is that fair? And that scum played the system. And what ‘were’ they trying to prove by their character insinuations? That she somehow emasculated him? That she deserved what she got and likewise what I got? OMG you’ve got to wonder when does this crap stop. The system is a nasty trap that doesn’t work as it is male dominated and I think they find it fun in a sick twisted way playing courtroom chess. You’re treated like trailer trash once you’ve been hit as a woman which makes you deemed pathetic in the eyes of the system. I was totally humiliated by what had happened to me. Many woman have said the lawyers will go for the nut or the slut angle to defame the woman and make it seem like the abuser is the victim. The Nut was made to pay a fraction of the costs I had to incur to fix my teeth. Acc payed next to nothing also. It took two years to fix, and many thousands, he had succeeded in wiping the smile literally off my face. He is a sick predator and he is still out there. He would have paid more for the nasty lawyer defending him than i got in reparation I’m sure.

          • @Kate:

            Thankyou so very much for sharing your horrendous and entirely humiliating story.
            I hope you have fully recovered.

            Yes the system is all set up to condone this male violence behaviour. It’s sickening, and life destroying.

            I found out myself, from personal experience, that the police give you the “cannot be bothered” attitude, and “here we go again”.

            Then ACC who are supposed to help you, get into top bullying mode and cause you direct harm from their further bullying of you. They are disgusting.

            It is all just as you have said here, and that is the fact of the matter!

            And once you have been through this further ordeal of dealing with police and ACC, and doctors visits for verification of injuries, while trying to stand up for your rights, and then all the further bullying that is laid in your lap – and watching the abuser get away with it – what are you left with?

            Moving town, and trying to start again fresh somewhere else, while still paying off the legal bills, in a worse state than you were in when the saga began. This affects the entire family.

            Do you see this, you men who don’t seem to care. Do you see this???
            Do you get it now?

            God bless you Kate with his very best for your future and your families future.

            Thankyou for sharing the reality.

            Imagine how things would change if ALL of the women and children who have been victims of violence and sexual violence, stood up at once, and decided and said, “Hey MR ABUSER, I’m not going to take this anymore! I am going to abuse you now! And I am going to name and shame you. I am going to lead a force to overcome this evil, and you abusers will all be so very sorry that you ever abused any of us!” Imagine what would happen next. Something would be done alright.

            Opinion and belief.

  5. I think those men who are offended by what Cunliffe said need to be kicked in the nuts! Maybe they might ‘feel’ the real problem then. Seriously they are the Stupid ‘Proles’, like in the book 1984 the ones who can’t see past themselves and their tiny little lives/dicks, so nothing changes. They need to grow the fuck up, as all they are proving is how Stupid you are! If they don’t vote to change this issue then we will all be living in the 1984 book thanks to them. Good article Jessie, you hit the nail on the head*

    • Oh yes the man hatred is strong in this one, i am not a dick or a stupid prole nor do i wish to be kicked in the nuts or to grow the F up, maybe when you have finished lumping everone in the same boat as super muppet Cunliffe you will realise most of us think beyond our own “lives/dicks” and dont abuse anyone including women at all

      • So you don’t care about the woman that have been abused or killed? And do you not care about the men who do abuse woman? I don’t understand why so many men are emasculated by a sentence David Cunliffe said on that issue. Your a good guy so no need to be offended, unless you have missed the valuable point. Woman are being abused and killed my men.

      • Re. “don’t abuse anyone” – this is good. Please spread your good intentions around, and ensure the people around you “don’t abuse anyone”, “don’t laugh at misgynistic jokes”, “don’t watch misgynistic movies”, “don’t listen to misgynistic songs”.

        It’s a culture change vulnerable people need, and it starts person by person. Can you be that person?

      • Mainlander, what about any of this makes you so offended? As a male, i am not offended in the slightest, im embarrassed for other men who subscribe to the tenets of macho-culture and apologetic for patriarchy in general but ive never been offended by women who are angry. I dont understand how you can take attacks on cultural constructs personally – unless of course you are a male with entitlement issues and are a part of the problem?

  6. Should my Maori neighbour apologise for being maori because they are disproportionately represented in the crime stats? Of course not. The only people who should be apologising are the perpetrators, men and women, of domestic violence. I don’t have anything to apologise for, and DC doesn’t speak for me. And based on the reaction t his comments, he doesn’t speak for very many other men either.

    • @IV:

      …and herein lies the problem…

      No need for name-calling with you IV..You do very well on your own!

      Opinion.

    • I’d just like to say I’m sorry for being a human being when there are people like Intrinsicvalue on the planet.

    • He doesn’t need to be speaking for you — he’s speaking for himself.

      I’d also argue comparing violence against women with crime in general mistakes the fact that violence against loved ones is a VERY different crime. It is about power and control, which is unlike most other forms of crime.

      Furthermore, I’d also say that Maori are disproportionately represented in crime statistics for a myriad of reasons, including, but not limited to: a racist justice system (yup, I said it); poor socio-economic situations for Maori; a history of being culturally devastated; values of colonialism.

      Oh and did I mention racism? Can’t really overstate that one.

    • @ Intrinsicvalue: “Should my Maori neighbour apologise for being maori because they are disproportionately represented in the crime stats?”

      Well now, here’s the thing: a large chunk of the pakeha male population, I’ve noticed, does indeed blame all Maori for the overrepresentation of Maori men in the crime stats. It isn’t dissimilar, really, to expecting them to apologise for being Maori, is it?

      Perhaps now you’ll have some insight into how all Maori feel about being blamed for some Maori’s crimes.

      I’ve read Cunliffe’s remarks. It seems to me that he was apologising on behalf of himself, not the rest of you. However, he did call out the rest of you: those of you who are violent, along with those of you who aren’t, but do nothing to intervene when your family members, workmates or friends are. And those of you who snigger at repellent, misogynist jokes – or worse, make such jokes yourselves.

      New Zealand has a shameful record of family violence. It’ll need work on the part of the men of this country, not just the women, to put a stop to it.

    • IntrinsicActsupporter, you’ve totally and deliberately missed the point again.

      Do you ever think through the issues before commenting???

  7. am i offended or otherwise negatively emotionally affected by what cunliffe said? – no (especially so given the settings and the two words the MSM keep leaving out)

    do i agree with the gist of what cunliffe was saying? – yes

    do i agree that men who say nothing while anyone commits acts of violence (of any kind) are part of the problem? – yes

    But explain to me why i should be considered part of the problem due to my appendages.
    Isnt it the way we conduct ourselves and not our genitals that should define things here?

    The concept of men telling other men that their actions are unacceptable is good, because it works – but i will reject being told im part of the problem based solely on my genetic inheritance.

  8. @ INTRINSICVALUE – why does your response to this issue, not surprise me?

    Have you really thought about what David Cunliffe was saying?

    Did you consider the serious message behind his words?

    Did you ask yourself what you can do to help reduce domestic violence altogether?

    Perhaps this is one time where we can all come together, take responsibility and fight this damn awful and shameful issue.

    The power to make change is with us, if we really want to. But it can only be done if we work as a collective society, once we have faced up to the fact domestic violence is a huge social problem.

    • “Perhaps this is one time where we can all come together, take responsibility and fight this damn awful and shameful issue.

      The power to make change is with us, if we really want to. But it can only be done if we work as a collective society, once we have faced up to the fact domestic violence is a huge social problem.”

      now thats an argument i can fully agree with

      • Since I don’t hang out with males that commit acts of violence, it is a little hard to do anything about it at a personal level

        • I think the author is trying to say there IS something you can do about – confront your friends if they say sexist things, make sexist jokes etc …

          You know, combat the *culture*?

  9. Try living life in the shoes of a male that is psychologically and socially abused by professionals and authorities in public services, communities, etc. He also needs respects and dignity from the very people who are imposing such decisions, including men themselves.
    He doesn’t have to jump every time the cat meows, and he too has to look up to somebody for support. There are about million of them still surviving.

    • @ADSPHE:

      Yes women have that abuse as well as the abuse from abusive men!

      Oh and diddums to you – try adding rape and domestic abuse to your equation and then see how you like it, and maybe you will actually have something to winge about.

      Opinion.

      • theres ways and means to make someone see your side of an argument, and subsequently change their views

        this isnt one of them

  10. The Headlines against Cunliffe are to divert attention from the fact National have starved rape crisis and womans refuge’s* ……. and Labor is pledging $30 Million to help battle this shameful national disgrace.

    Also out of the picture is Nationals success in changing the booze laws in a way that explicitly fails in reducing consumption, abuse or profits to booze makers and pushers.

    So in true National party style lets grab Judith Collins full strength RTD’s and toast the roastbusters, getting teenage girls drunk and lippy woman who dont know when to shut up when their man is enjoying a few drinks.

    * Now that its election year the nats are giving back some of the money they cut …………. I wonder why

  11. IV – If I apologised for being a redneck right wing arsehole, would you be offended, and if not, why not ?

    • I can’t speak for IV and I’m not sure that would be wanted – but I can give you my opinion.
      I wouldn’t be offended if you apologised for being a redneck right-wing arsehole because those were choices that you made – to be a redneck, to be right-wing, to be an arsehole.
      If you apologised for being a man (a state you had no choice over) then for that apology to be meaningful you’d need to make a change, be something else or there’s going to be more apologising to do.
      I do get Cunliffe’s intention and the gravity of the situation, but I think the wording was unfortunate – and if words didn’t matter we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

      • Hi E-Clectic,

        I guess this is the argument I really don’t follow.

        I’ve never thought that ‘being a man’ was the same as ‘being a male’ (e.g., ‘boys’ are male but not men). And, even a biological view of being male isn’t necessarily tied to genitalia – neurology would also come into it.

        Being (and becoming) a ‘man’ does require, if not ‘choice’, active engagement and enactment of ‘manhood’, ‘manliness’ or whatever else you want to call the behaviours that, in a particular culture, go into being a man.

        And isn’t this notion of ‘man’ that’s being targeted by Cunliffe, in any reasonable reading of his words?

        Even if those behaviours are based on some innate predispositions (e.g., to boast, strut, physically dominate, be inordinately concerned with issues of personal ‘honour’, etc.) that clearly isn’t a prescription for the destiny of violence at the category (i.e., cultural) level.

        Being a ‘man’, that is, could – in some far flung place and time – be something that has nothing to do with a predilection for domestic violence. But, for that to be the case, all of those who self-identify as ‘men’ would, obviously, have to operate quite differently because, at present, ‘being a man’ in our culture does involve that predilection, as the statistics plainly show.

        That is, there’s still ‘choice’ (at least at the collective level) for how those original (perhaps innate) dispositions get used by a culture – either to dominate women in general or to help support women and other men in society.

        To me there’s also a contradiction in the kinds of reactions that say ‘I haven’t personally committed domestic violence so I shouldn’t feel sorry for being a man’.

        On the one hand, to be offended by Cunliffe’s comment, you have to identify with a collective category (being a ‘man’) yet, on the other hand, you would need to have no sense of responsibility for what that ‘category’ or group do, on the whole.

        Put another way, to be consistent with this approach to ‘identification’ with a group, someone who identifies as a ‘New Zealander’ should eschew all sense of pride when, for example, another New Zealander does something admirable on the world stage. After all, it’s got nothing to do with the individual feeling proud so why on earth should they feel pride? If they asserted their individual being over their collective being then they might note a good performance by another individual but that would be where it would end.

        Closer to the point, if a man ever feels a little flush of pride when reading that some research study has found men to be better drivers, or whatever, than women (and perhaps relays that finding to friends because they are quite pleased to have read about it) then presumably that flush of good feeling would be inexplicable from the same individual perspective?

        After all, what has that achievement necessarily got to do with the driving ability, or whatever, of the particular man/individual who reads it?

        There’s something very selective about the way we embrace a group we identify with when it enhances us/makes us feel better and then, suddenly, disown the group identification when it shames us.

        Isn’t that having your cake and eating it too?

        If someone identifies as a man, shouldn’t that, in all honesty, mean identifying with the bad along with the good? And, clearly, many of those who are offended by Cunliffe’s remarks DO identify as ‘men’ since they feel that they are being accused of something.

        They presumably reap the benefits of that identification in our culture (after all, they’re hard to avoid) yet, strangely, they don’t want to pay the costs of that same identification.

        • “If someone identifies as a man,”

          i think e-clectic is talking being born genetically male – not identifying as a man

          “If you apologised for being a man (a state you had no choice over)”

          thats not to distract from your argument – because theres good points therein, but it feels like your talking about something quite different to what e-clectic was saying

          • Hi Framu,

            Yes, I know that E-Clectic was taking the word ‘man’ to refer to a biological, unchosen category. But I just don’t think that’s what Cunliffe was referring to.

            I think when Cunliffe used the word ‘man’ it was a reference, if you like, to the gender role rather than the biological sex.

            I’ll admit that that role is a bit like being a New Zealander – most New Zealanders didn’t choose to be a New Zealander. They were just born in certain islands and then got caught up in a social, cultural, legal and economic thing called ‘New Zealand’ which claimed them.

            It’s kind of the same with being a ‘man’.

            All the things we say about men, all the ways we use the word ‘man’, all the things we expect boys to do to become men, all the roles and norms we arrange for men – all of this is what ‘being a man’ is about.

            It’s not really about biology because male biology can be put to a lot of different uses and used in a lot of different ways (as it has been over time, place and culture).

            I guess I was trying to highlight that the argument that men have no choice over being men only flies if you conflate ‘man’ with ‘male’, with the latter being the bare biology.

            But that biological endowment is not ‘man’ or ‘woman’ or anything else that we recognise as a social category. It only becomes a member of a particular social category when the world (culture) does something with the biology.

            The only reason I raised these admittedly abstract points is because there’s this argument I keep hearing that being a ‘man’ is a (biological) given so don’t blame men for being men.

            But ‘being a man’ isn’t just a given. While it’s not like a prototypical consumer choice, it’s also not like being born with blue eyes. We can do something about it – alter it, reject aspects of it, make it mean something quite different, make it result in very different outcomes.

            Just notice the way that we all talk (often stereotypically) about ‘men’ and ‘women’. A biological male obviously knows nothing about beer, rugby, mateship or ‘hard yards’ – New Zealand *men* do. Biological categories/entities just don’t fit those ways of talking.

            But social categories – like ‘man’ – do. And social categories and their attributes, if not consciously ‘chosen’ by individuals, are nevertheless something we can alter – partly through individual awareness but more importantly through efforts at collective change.

            Wasn’t it obvious that that was just what Cunliffe was on about? (In fact, I don’t see how he could have been talking about ‘men’ in any other way – after all, he wasn’t giving a lecture to a biology class.)

            • “Wasn’t it obvious that that was just what Cunliffe was on about? (In fact, I don’t see how he could have been talking about ‘men’ in any other way – after all, he wasn’t giving a lecture to a biology class.)”

              yep – 100% agree, and its good to keep bringing this back to what cunliffe said and not what the media got in a flap about.

            • @ Puddleglum: “But ‘being a man’ isn’t just a given. While it’s not like a prototypical consumer choice, it’s also not like being born with blue eyes. We can do something about it – alter it, reject aspects of it, make it mean something quite different, make it result in very different outcomes.”

              Exactly. And in my view, that’s happened – to some extent and in some sectors of society at least – in the years since I was a young woman, arguing feminist issues with young men.

              But unfortunately, a chunk of the male population remains completely unreconstructed, as we used to say. Indeed, there may well have been some reversion, possibly as push-back against women’s increasing visibility in education and the workforce. This doesn’t reflect well on such men.

            • Hi Puddleglum

              I guess I was trying to highlight that the argument that men have no choice over being men only flies if you conflate ‘man’ with ‘male’, with the latter being the bare biology.

              Google: define Man – man noun
              1. an adult human male.

              Merriam-Webster: man noun an adult male human being

              Dictionary.com: man noun an adult male person, as distinguished from a boy or a woman

              The conflation of male and man is pretty much innate in the meaning of the word man. Consequently, I think that from “any reasonable reading” of the word “man” one would infer “male”, a state over which one has little choice.

              As I’ve stated before, family violence is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. In my view, Cunliffe could have said all he said on the issue about manning up, taking responsibility, it’s bullshit etc etc and just left out the apology. He would have got a clean, clear message out there without any taint.

  12. Good article, well said. Not all men are abusers but it is up to all men to tackle the issue. If men accepted it as their problem, not Maori or P.I. or redneck or bully or whomever we as a society may have a chance to turn our young boys into REAL men.

  13. A male relative of mine who has been a strong Labour supporter all his life reacted really crazily to this media storm in a teacup when he heard David Cunliffe’s comment, taken out of context. All I can say is that he’s basically a good man, but he also has a terrible anger management problem, has been violent in the past, and has a deep-seated sexist chip on his shoulder towards women because of being a neglected child with a nasty mother. So yes, I think men who took this comment personally probably got annoyed because they acknowledge there’s some truth in it. He’s calmed down now, but he’s still threatening to vote Greens in protest. I do think the media – not David Cunliffe – have caused damage to the Labour vote with this ridiculous reporting though.

    • It’s a long-standing philosophical position that you should be extremely suspicious of people who try to peddle guilt for things you haven’t done. This eventually broke the coercive power wielded by institutions like the pre-Darwin churches – but it took centuries.

      I’m sure David has a different objective – but post-marxist feminists tend to play such cards much too often for the story to not be credible to male bystanders. A movement for change needs to prioritise creating positive roles for male allies. Focus the discontent on the problematic abusers – don’t lump everyone together.

  14. @ Andys:”Since I don’t hang out with males that commit acts of violence,…”

    You’re sure about that, are you? It might be useful to take a slightly more sceptical view. Many’s the person who’s been blindsided by domestic/sexual violence charges being brought against somebody they know or work with. And many others, of course, do know that something iffy’s going on, but either don’t know how to broach the subject, or they think it’s not their business and they shouldn’t get involved.

    “… it is a little hard to do anything about it at a personal level”

    There it is: all those men who’d never dream of behaving like that and therefore see no role for themselves in bringing about changes in the behaviour of men who do.

    But there is a role for you: even talking about the issue with other men is a start.

  15. In the face of the likelihood Martyn will censor this post as he is doing with so many others, I will try to articulate why I believe Cunliffe has damaged the cause he seeks to assist.
    Cunliffe’s immediate audience for this speech was Women’s Refuge, an organisation that do a fantastic job on behalf of NZ women victims of abuse. But his audience extended beyond that. He knew his speech was being recorded, and in an election he knew his apology would receive widespread publicity, or at least he should have.
    What Cunliffe did, wittingly or unwittingly, was to trivialise a serious issue; he turned attention from the victims of abuse to it being about him, something for which he has ‘form’. He also implied, deliberately or not, that all men are abusers. There is no other way to interpret his opening statement. That is not only outrageously false, it disguises the fact that women abuse as well.
    Look, I should be delighted he made the comments. It has been the topic of discussion since his speech, and has detracted from some significant policy announcements from Labour. It has also been met with near universal disapproval. But I’m not. I’m despairing of the fact that the leader of the second largest political party in NZ could be so self absorbed, so naieve, or both.

    • @ Intrinsicvalue: I suggest that you read Puddleglum’s comments above. It seems to me that you’ve put a political gloss on an issue which transcends politics. That’s the most unfortunate thing about the reaction of many people, men in particular.

  16. National pays lip service to domestic violence ………. but they acted by cutting funding.

    They are also in bed with the booze industry who are the profiteering partners in all kinds of abuse, violence and crime.

    Actions speak much louder than words ………….. pass the full strength RTD’s Judith …………. Lets toast a power abusing piss soaked culture …. and getting teenage girls drunk.

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