David Cunliffe felt compelled to apologize to the audience of a Women’s Refuge forum:
“Can I begin by saying I’m sorry,” he said.
“I don’t often say it. I’m sorry for being a man right now, because family and sexual violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men against women and children.
“So the first message to the men out there is: wake up, stand up and man up and stop this bullshit!”
I am sorry you are man right now, too, because family and sexual violence is perpetrated both men and women against men, women, and children. I agree that the first message to men should be “wake up, stand up, man up, and stop this bullshit!” Men should not put up with being vilified for the actions a handful of men commit.
Cunliffe’s comments went over well with the largely female audience. Refuge chief executive Heather Henare enjoyed it, and took the time to complain about a lack of funding despite her group receiving a $3 million funding increase in the last six years. Fortunately, there is someone in New Zealand with the testicular fortitude to call out Cunliffe’s moronic comment:
Prime Minister John Key said Mr Cunliffe’s comments were insulting to New Zealand men.
Mr Key said he was not sorry for being a man, saying “It’s a pretty silly comment from David Cunliffe”.
“The problem isn’t being a man, the problem is if you’re an abusive man. I think it’s a bit insulting to imply that all men are abusive.
“A small group are, and they need to change their behaviour and be held to account.”
Mr Key questioned whether the Labour leader was sincere about the statement.
“Is he going to go down to the local rugby club and get up and say ‘I’m sorry for being a man’? I don’t think so.”
Typically, male apologists like Cunliffe do not dare talk like that in front of men unless the apologists are physically imposing. Otherwise, most men will laugh at them, dismiss them, or beat the daylights out of them.
Cunliffe did, however, reveal an important aspect of the feminist-run support network: it is not about helping anyone, only demonizing men.