Home > The Body Politic > Guest Author: So John Key, a man can’t be a feminist?

Guest Author: So John Key, a man can’t be a feminist?

Bennett Morgan

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Comedian Louis C.K. John Key, David Cunliffe. 

The hillbilly minority in this country has entered another week in wasted anger over David Cunliffe’s “sorry for being a man” quote. A new Facebook page has risen from the depths of hate as “Labour’s war on men” – attracting close to 700 lost rednecks to join up in a matter of days. It includes, from the observation of the naked eye, truckers expressing their distaste in Cunliffe’s use of words.

Those who know me will know; this is something I just can’t stand. Men, insisting they are an oppressed minority.

OK, for goodness sakes – you are a WHITE MAN! Let me use Louis C.K’s scenario; if you had a time machine, you, as a white man could go anywhere, at any point in time, and be welcomed with open arms and rights. If you are a woman – that’s not the case. Anywhere before 1970 and you’ll get Women saying – “No thanks, don’t feel like being patted on the backside in the workplace” or “I have better things to do than staying at home all day, doing the ironing”.

Men have it great. I know this. And every man knows this. What no man understands is the despicable discrimination and hatred which still exists against Women in our modern, supposedly liberal society. Women are still underrepresented in boardrooms, council rooms and offices of high power. We still have existing stereotypes that Men do one thing and Women do the other. We still use phrases like ‘are you man enough?’ as if Women are lesser when it comes to bravery.

So, Men aren’t discriminated against in our society. Men are incredibly focused on in popular culture; for example, why are we so interested in the All Blacks and not the Blackferns? Do you even know who the Blackferns are?

Then there’s violence. Violence against women. Whenever someone tries to raise the point of this completely ignored and horrifyingly common violence, you’ll always get someone saying “It’s not OK to hit a man too!”. Oh poop. Are you man enough?

We are discussing Women’s violence. You know, the one we ignore but counts for 85% of all violence at home? Yeah, that’s the violence we are trying to discuss here. This is the violence the media has ignored every time a politician has tried to address this serious problem. Then there’s the audacity from our manliest beast of a man John Key, who laughs off Cunliffe’s comments.

This is not a joke. One woman calling a helpline or the police every nine minutes because she is being beaten by a man she loves is not a joke. It could hardly be interpreted as such, and I’m sorry men, but for once – this isn’t all about you. This is about saving lives, relationships and families. This is about saving young women from being scarred for life – this is about being defenders of the vulnerable  and a voice for the voiceless.

What the media should have focused on is what Cunliffe said after “I’m sorry for being a man”. But we didn’t hear a word. Had we heard a word, and had New Zealanders been willing to listen and willing to care, David Cunliffe would not only be respected, but would be labeled a hero for speaking out.

The fact the media was up to it’s old tricks, trying to spot a gaffe, the fact our Prime Minister and various other politicians used his comments for their gain is disgusting. They used it without even checking nor accepting the crisis which exists within the country they govern. The country they could fix.

Key laughed offed the comments and gained reputation for being the voice of ‘oppressed men’  – all the while, he watched as the Christchurch Rape Crisis Centre closed it’s doors, leaving dozens in a broken city without hope.

$30,000 to leave that open. The next day he spent $80,000 on re-designing bank notes.

That is how our government values women. That is how our government values abuse.  That is how our government values rape. A joke, and less important than a banknote. $50,000 less important than a banknote. Keep going Mr. Key, you’re doing Abbott proud…

So if men can’t be feminists, I guess there never should have been whites speaking out against apartheid. I guess there shouldn’t be Jewish people right now fighting the actions of a Zionist government in Palestine. And I guess no straight person should celebrate a gay couple being happy.

And if men never act on issues which help Women; then there would never be the right for Women to vote.

So in that respect, laughing off Cunliffe’s comments as ‘feminist bullshit’ is un-Kiwi. It goes against who we are and why we are all here; to fight for the equality of all our people.

B. Morgan, 2014. 

Re-printed by kind permission from Bennett’s blog, InsightNZ

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Vote and be the change

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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  1. 15 July 2014 at 1:16 am

    That Facebook page would have more than 700 red-necks, but they haven’t sobered up yet from this morning’s breakfast…

    This point, though, I found particularly salient;

    “The fact the media was up to it’s old tricks, trying to spot a gaffe…”

    I wonder how many women in the media understood what Cunliffe was saying – but had to bite their collective tongue as their (usually) male bosses decided which derisory angle to attack the Labour leader on?

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Bennett. One could understand a casually derisory response from Key. He does Casual Derision perfectly.

    But the media has outdone itself in pursuing the same “Gotcha” theme that they criticise politicians for doing.

    It is a dangerous time to be a woman (or a minority) when the media is more focused on scoring cheap points, rather than addressing what is – for many women in this country – a life-threatening culture of violence.

    Depressing.

  2. 15 July 2014 at 2:18 am

    Indeed. Whoever said that the media isn’t biased? It’s soooo cliquey. Seems like they cheer for the incumbent when they’re supposed to be neutral. #TeamKey doesn’t need taxpayer funded cheerleaders.

  3. Dirk
    15 July 2014 at 9:48 am

    It’s not just that the victimisation and discrimination against women is handy for the neo liberal right. They are happy enough to have ‘proper women’ like Thatcher or Merkel in positions of power. They play the game according to the elite’s rules.

    The point in this election is the absolute need for the neo liberals to finish off democracy and the vestiges of a culture where human rights and needs mattered. The trade agreements and selling off of all things of value to the rich must be continued, and that is Key’s agenda.

    Belittling the opposition, no matter the pretext or outright distortion of words, facts or issues is required to assure the dominance of National. Greed is paramount and without scruples, ethics or concern for the plight of others.

    • 15 July 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Dirk.

      I could not have put the situation the 2014 election represents any better than you have above.

  4. 15 July 2014 at 4:31 pm

    So take the challenge, anytime you want to see a blatantly biased system in operation against all fathers, look no further than the NZ family court.
    The first step is in admitting that men and women can both be just as violent, and that anything else continues the long told lies that have been drilled into every home for the past 20 years. when are you going to wake up and see the #### that has been shoved ? I dare you to stand out for yourself
    A long-standing NZ population study confirms that most of the domestic violence committed (excluding fatal occurrence) is evenly split between men and women:

    http://www.otago.ac.nz/christchurch/otago014519.pdf

    A 2012 Family Violence Death Review report also revealed the rather “inconvenient truth” that the majority of children are killed by their mothers in domestic violence events:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/227441/children-most-often-killed-mothers
    http://time.com/2921491/hope-solo-women-violence/
    http://www.oneinthree.com.au/overview/
    http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/women-more-aggressive-to-partners-1
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/jun/07/feminism-domestic-violence-men?commentpage=1
    http://www.saveservices.org/

    and why are men overlooked completely ?
    Do we not exist or count ?
    Except when it comes to paying ?

    http://toysoldier.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/why-are-there-no-refuges-for-male-victims-of-domestic-violence/#comments

    First ever men’s conference, Erin pizzey founder of women’s refuge speaks about where it all came from and the web of lies

    • 15 July 2014 at 5:58 pm

      Dominic,

      That’s garbage. Your comment;

      “A 2012 Family Violence Death Review report also revealed the rather “inconvenient truth” that the majority of children are killed by their mothers in domestic violence events:

      http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/227441/children-most-often-killed-mothers

      – is not borne out by the ODT article you referred to.

      The article states in the second paragraph;

      “The Family Violence Death Review, released today by police, found mothers were responsible for 45 per cent of children killed by domestic violence. “

      45 per cent of children killed by domestic violence” does not equate to “the majority of children are killed by their mothers in domestic violence events“.

      I also point out that the ODT article quotes the neo-conservative “Family First” organisation which is anti-gay; anti-marriage equality; anti-feminist; and other conservative beliefs.

      As such, the “facts” quoted in that ODT article are dubious and questionable.

      And by the way, it might help if you researched the issue yourself, instead of copy & pasting from a Conservative Party website: http://newlynnconservative.com/2014/07/04/waitakere-man-conservative-party-candidate-not-going-to-apologise-for-being-a-man/

      The website – http://www.oneinthree.com.au/overview/ – is a pro-men, anti-women website, along the vein of menz.org.nz, which is filled with misogynistic, angry men with heightened feelings of entitlement.

      The rest of the material is likewise of an anti-women bent and claiming that women are more violent, aggressive, abusive, is a fantasy that flies in the face of facts.

      Considering that the problem here is rape, you might consider who are the victims of that crime, and who are the perpetrators.

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