Silly sorry

If David Cunliffe wasn’t really sorry before he said he was sorry for being a man he will be now.

. . . “I don’t often say it, [but] I’m sorry for being a man because family and sexual violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men,” he said. . .

He doesn’t often say he’s sorry or he doesn’t often say he’s sorry for being a man?

Either way that sentence is getting far more publicity than the policy it prefaced and most of the publicity is negative.

Prime Minister  John Key said the apology was silly:

. . . John Key says that’s no reason to regret being a man.

“The problem isn’t being a man. The problem is if you’re an abusive man and 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 an account.”

Key says with his apology, Mr Cunliffe is implying that all men fall into that category.

“To get up and say, ‘I’m sorry for being a man’ really is, I think, a bit insulting to all men in New Zealand because the vast overwhelming bulk of them are good, loving fathers, brothers, uncles.” . . .


Violence, and family violence in particular, are problems but while men are the majority of perpetrators, the majority of men aren’t.

Cunliffe’s silly sorry is the sort of comment that starts people muttering about political correctness and feminazis.

It insults the majority of men who are good men.

It might even make those who aren’t good think that being a man is the problem which therefore excuses them because it’s something they can’t change.

One of the problems we face is too few positive male role models for many children who are brought up by women, taught by women and have very little to do with good, caring, strong men who never use their strength to intimidate, punish or harm.

Rather than apologising, good men should be standing tall, celebrating manliness and showing that violence and abuse aren’t manly.

Labour’s congress is an opportunity for the party to get free publicity.

They’ve sabotaged themselves by barring the media from most sessions and in the vacuum that’s created, the focus will go on this silly sorry for which Cunliffe should indeed by sorry.

39 Responses to Silly sorry

  1. “Rather than apologising, good men should be standing tall, celebrating manliness”

    I see.

    You are on the wrong side of this one, Ele. As is Key.

    You’ll see.

  2. JC says:

    He’s also got his facts wrong. Several studies show that violence in the home runs about 50:50 men and women, but women come off worse because of the strength issues.

    Likewise child abuse.. women are nearly as likely to abuse kids as men. Also it needs to be recognised that abuse runs in families and with repeat offenders, so its wrong to ascribe violence stats across the whole population.


  3. Key has taken a serious mis-step here.
    His comments will repel female voters.
    Just you wait and see.

  4. Quintin Hogg says:

    so you are in the Cunliffe camp Robert?
    Thought so?
    nuff said.

  5. fredinthegrass says:

    Rg, what have planted in your lovely forest garden.
    It is doing things to your mind.
    I advise a potion of mixed herbs, liverwort – horrible on its own – and a liberal sprinkling of epsom salts. One “dose” usually does the trick but in extreme cases a second one may be needed.

  6. Andrei says:

    No Robert Guyton – Mr Cunliffe was literally groveling in front of a bunch of women apologizing for something “for being a man“, something he had no choice over.

    Imagine in a Maori apologized for being a Maori because of the high incidence of child abuse in that community.

    There would be, rightfully, outrage.

    Mr Cunliffe’s display today was utterly shameful – it also came across as greasy pandering and political posturing

  7. Quintin – I’m in the Green camp, I thought that was apparent (must try harder!!)

    Fred – what haver I planted? Plants. Yes, that does something to one’s mind – good things. I highly recommend it.

    Andrei – I accept that you can’t see Cunliffe’s apology any other way.
    Women, I will argue, react well to someone who says “sorry”. They react badly to someone who says that saying sorry is “silly”.
    Key has harmed his image. Cunliffe has enhanced his.
    Wait and see.

  8. And to add to the disgust that women are feeling around Key’s reaction, there’s this

    “On Wednesday, the government used sexual violence as an excuse to undermine the right to silence. Meanwhile, they’re quietly letting Christchurch’s only rape crisis centre close [audio]. There’s been a 40% rise in sexual assaults in Christchurch since the earthquakes, but National is refusing to fund rape crisis there because it needs government funding to survive (yes, really).

    And that’s National for you in a nutshell. A lot of tough talk, while making things worse in practice. I guess there’s just no “tough on crime” headlines for Judith Collins in well-funded rape-crisis centres, and hence no reason for this government to show interest.”

    Yes, National is mistreating women and they’re starting to notice…



    David Cunliffe is showing the political nous that John Key used to have.

  9. (Twitter’s being a little unkind over this)

    Teamkeynz: Definitely not ‘sorry’ for being #TeamKey supporters!

    Just for being misogynistic fuckwits.

  10. BradGibbons: FFS, I can’t believe an article about domestic violence contains the words ‘insulting to men’. From the Prime Minister, no less

  11. isaacfreeman: @LewSOS I’d have said that Cunliffe’s strategy is a bit stronger than Key ‘s here. One of them is apparently aware that women vote.

  12. patrickgowernz: Today, Key goes to Family First & sucks up to Bob McCroskie & co. Cunliffe goes to Women’s Refuge – and Cunliffe is the bad guy! #crazy

  13. MrDuttonPeabody: So, #TeamKey is a rugby team where any discussion of male violence against women is seen as effeminate, girly and something to mock. Right.

  14. richardhills777: Just FYI @DavidCunliffeMP announced $60mill frontline services, prevention & education. Reform of justice & prosecution to protect victims.

  15. rnz_news: Christchurch rape crisis centre to close

  16. jofromgreylynn: “Um, women’s stuff, yes very important, hey look at Cunliffe, ha ha ha ha ha what a fool, not like me, manly, men’s changing rooms, rugby”

  17. Phil_Wheeler: I like the National ads saying they’re taking action on family violence. Is that why they’ve cut funding to & merged womens’ refuge?

  18. TraceyS says:

    Who said “being sorry is the highest act of selfishness, seeing value only after discarding it”?

    There is a clue in here for knowing when and when not to apologise.

  19. TraceyS says:

    Little children sometimes say things like “I’m sorry I was born” or sorry for other things they know cannot be changed.

    As parents, I think most realise that they are not apologising as such, but rather attempting to draw attention upon themselves and their plight.

  20. TraceyS says:

    If David Cunliffe really was a sensitive man, as he hopes to portray himself, he would be acknowledging and denouncing the insensitive language used by his foreign affairs spokesman yesterday. David Shearer, when commenting on the handling of a recent sexual violence allegation, reportedly said:

    “It’s a colossal cock-up quite frankly,………”—Shearer/tabid/1837/articleID/351155/Default.aspx#disqus_thread

    Excuse the pun?

    Well “sorry” if I do not on this occasion.

  21. Let’s balance the ledger a little Robert, and offer a few quotes from people who AREN”T Labour hacks – from the almost-500 comments on Stuff (which are normally rabidly anti-National):

    * suprtroper12 hours ago
    Listening to the radio. “I’m sorry for being a man”.
    Come again???
    If you’re going to comment on an important issue David maybe get a clue or just keep your trap shut? Do we really have this level of incompetence as our opposition leader? How did that comment even come out of your mouth without getting stopped by your brain??

    * I am proud to be the best father I can to my beautiful daughter.
    I am proud to pay my child support on time and in full.
    I’m proud to serve this nation as a health professional working 40+ hour weeks helping the sick and injured.
    And I am PROUD TO BE A MAN.

    * Mark Chiddicks13 hours ago
    Nobody has the right, or the ability to apologise on behalf of others. Unless Cunliffe abuses his own family his ‘apology’ is both meaningless and offensive.
    Speaking as a man, I don’t apologise for domestic violence, because I have never committed any.

    * Malcolmj13 hours ago
    I’m not sorry for being a man but I do feel sorry for Labour voters who have such an idiot as this as their leader.

    And then there’s this one Robert:

    rick1113 hours ago
    I have been a Labour voter all my life and while it has been hard in the past to support Labour due to some of their policy’s I have supported Labour’s values and culture but Mr Cunliffe you have totally destroyed my faith in the core values of the Labour Party. Come september I will not be voting for Labour, for the first time ever I am not going to vote. You will tell who ever is listening what ever they want to hear if it means votes, you sir are a true 21st century politician you reflect the audiance you are talking too and what they want to hear.
    I too deplore the violence perpertrated on women and children (in fact any innocent victem of violence) what really turns my stomach is there are 80% of victems that for one reason or another do not report what happens to them, I agree with Ms Henare WE need to do more for that huge group. I hang my head in shame not because I am a man and that men are in the main responsible for these awfull acts but shame for a socoity that I am part of allows this to continue. Every one has a responsibility to support these 80% and to report any suspicions of family and sexual violence. We men (the majority) who love and care for our family’s, women and children need to step and educate our sons on what is OK and what is not. We need to to draw a line in the sand and actively ensure our community’s are safe for women and children.
    David Cunliffe, it is not about appoligising for being a man, there is nothing wrong with being a man we are good people, we do good things it is that minority group who treat women and children so appalingly that need to be held responsible and punished for thier actions. What ever we (as a society) can do to support that 80% to come forward and report what has happened them thats what we need to concentrate on. We need to ensure that the generations of men to come grow up knowing that violence towards women and children is wrong and that the generations of women to come grow up knowing that being beaten and abused is not normal and if it happens they are believed and supported.

    Who’s on the wrong side of this argument? And who has just single-handedly derailed his party congress this weekend?

    Footnote: Apologies for the length of the comment Ele, but Robert’s cherry-picking needed to be challenged.

  22. Judge Holden says:

    Yeah, challenge that cherry-picking with some cherry-picking. That doesn’t make you look at all hypocritical.

  23. Keeping Stock. You regard yourself as someone who has a balanced view on gender issues and opinions on those issues that are worth broadcasting. Of all of your delusions, this is the saddest.

  24. On your blog, Keeping Stock, this exchange with regular commenter “pdm”:

    Blogger pdm said…
    anon – do you think he might turn up in a dress for his conference speech over the weekend.

    July 4, 2014 at 7:21 PM
    Blogger Keeping Stock said…
    Wash you mouth out pdm! I need some mind-bleach now to get that image out of my consciousness!

    So, you imply you don’t condone portraying Cunliffe as a woman (wash your mouth out!), presumably because that would be offensive to women (if you can’t see why that is, Keeping Stock, see my comment at 9:30) but then go on to post a photograph of Cunliffe in a dress and invite captions from your readers.
    Misogynist is too harsh a description – you are married and you employ many women, but you patronise woman, unconsciously with your actions. You won’t be able to see it, most likely, and Tracey will defend you blindly, but I challenge you to send out your latest post in an email to all of your employees and see what their reaction is.

  25. Southern says:

    I challenge you bOb to stand for the next election (any election will do) in your own province, and prove to all of us how important your thinking is to rural Southland

  26. Dave Kennedy says:

    I put this comment on KS’s blog (it is interesting the similarity between these two).

    -1 in 4 girls experience an unwanted sexual act before they are 15
    -1 in 7 boys experience sexual abuse at some point in their childhood
    -90% of sexual violence crimes go unreported
    -NZ police average 9-10 domestic violence callouts for every hour of the day and for 2011-12 86,722 cases of domestic violence were investigated.
    -We have the 2nd worst child health safety statistics in the OECD and one of the highest rates of teenage suicide.

    The majority of the above are caused by men.

    I agree that most men are great fathers and husbands but taken in context Cunliffe’s speech makes perfect sense. This is just another huge beat up and is largely coming from a party that has few women MPs and has:

    -cut funding to Women’s Refuge and sexual violence support (especially Christchurch where their support has been wiped because they were broke due to the upsurge in demand).
    -Blocked any attempt at getting equity for jobs that are dominated by women and wiped bodies set up to progress it.
    -Forced many young struggling single mothers into greater poverty.
    -Allowed the appointment of sexual criminals to leadership roles in government…..
    -A government that has a Minister who apologizes to the PM before a victim that the Government has let down

    This could be called state sanctioned abuse of women (the second list).

  27. That’s so off-topic, Southern, that you can bet your clod-hopping boots, Ele will be here immediately to delete your comment, as she declared she would do to off-topic trolling.
    Here she comes…

  28. You must have missed the opening line Judge:

    Let’s balance the ledger a little Robert, and offer a few quotes from people who AREN”T Labour hacks – from the almost-500 comments on Stuff (which are normally rabidly anti-National):

    Of course the quotes are cherry-picked, just as RG’s were. I’m surprised that such an erudite judicial mind such as yours couldn’t work that out!

  29. TraceyS says:

    Does David Cunliffe have a son, maybe a nephew, growing up to be a man? How very sad if he does.

    One thing I want to do as a mother is raise kids who are free from guilt that does not belong to them.

    The greens want kids to feel guilt for being very human CO2 producers.

    The leader of the Labour Party is promoting guilt for having a male gender.

    If parents vote this combination for their kids’ future they have taken their eye off the ball.

  30. RBG says:

    “The greens want kids to feel guilt for being very human CO2 producers”
    Bullshit TraceyS!
    It’s the kids who will inherit a world with a very different climate if humans don’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    You continually make up utter crap about what you think the Greens stand for.

  31. Paranormal says:

    RPG – TraceyS is spot on. You’re just repeating BS used to brainwash children and make them feel guilty. Just like Cunliffe.

  32. robertguyton says:

    “You continually make up utter crap about what you think the Greens stand for.”
    Not just Tracey, RBG, most here do that. The curious thing is, they believe what they are saying, must give them credit for that. What they believe and say about the Greens is though, “utter crap” as you so succinctly said.

  33. TraceyS says:

    I expected you would be defensive. Says a lot really.

  34. RBG says:

    Not defensive, but calling you out for making things up TraceyS. Where’s your evidence for ‘the Greens want kids to feel guilt for being very human CO2 producers’ ?

  35. It’s scribbled on the back of her #teamkey badge.

  36. TraceyS says:

    I’m not your Mama, RBG, go look for yourself. It’s everywhere

  37. TraceyS says:

    Robert, I don’t have one of those badges and if I did I certainly wouldn’t scribble on it!

  38. RBG says:

    I’m very pleased you are not my Mama TraceyS because you are a liar. You made up your comment about the Greens wanting to make kids feel guilty. Shame on you.

  39. Judge Holden says:

    “Of course the quotes are cherry-picked”

    Your admission that you’re an unprincipled, dishonest hypocrite doesn’t make you less unprincipled, dishonest or hypocritical, Keeping Stock. Bottom-feeder.

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