Why there’s anger, Murray

There’s been wide and varied reactions to David Cunliffe’s “sorry to be a man” comment and to Tania Billingsley casting aside anonymity and speaking out about her feeling about the political reaction to her case.

This is understandable, especially when collective guilt is applied to “all men” and men are told to shut up and not talk about it. Many men and more than a few women have reacted against this. Some of the response has been reactionary and awful, especially when politics is put into the mix. Some of it has been angry.

But, and this is a big BUT, there is much deeper anger seething to the surface. Survivors of rape and domestic violence have deep hurt about what men have done to them and anger about the attitudes on display. Murray McCully is bearing the brunt of much of this. His apparent nonchalance and disinterest in the Malaysian diplomat case has spark a furor.

This angry reaction has taken many aback because while the feelings are evident the reasons are not clear to most people. There’s a good reason for this. Most survivors of brutality don’t like talking about their ordeals, especially in public, so their side of the story has been missed by most.

While many men have been momentarily miffed by accusations of guilt they can quickly move on to other things. Survivors can’t. Every time a rape case or a murder or assault is publicised it reminds then and drags their hurt to the surface again.

On a blog yesterday someone did speak out and put the respective hurt and anger into perspective – “I got an apology”… said no survivor of rape or gendered violence ever.

As I write this I am so tired. I am tired of repeating myself. Tired of having to explain why the “not all men” arguments are damaging and not a legitimate or helpful response to discussions about violence against women. There are women on this planet who have had legs ripped out from their sockets while being raped. There are women who have been beaten so badly they have not survived. My friend was hit so hard one time she shat herself. It is hard to say anything new about the same old issues when so few people hear the voices of those who have survived. When change is incremental. When the response is so often “…not all men”. Yeah. Moving on.

That level of violence is always perpetrated by men. Disgraceful male animals.

“I got an apology”… said no survivor of rape or gendered violence ever – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/07/11/i-got-an-apology-said-no-survivor-of-rape-or-gendered-violence-ever/#sthash.UC0cpEoa.dpuf

Most men abhor this sort of violence. But those who are miffed when the blame finger is pointed at them need to understand my some women – far too many women – are angry at men.

Why women are angry at Murray McCully for appearing not to care about victims. Why they don’t give a toss about the hurt feelings of peaceful men.

Sure they may overstate culpability of males who are not violent. But that comes from eons of their violation and hurt being grossly understated and ignored.

You know we have a massive problem as a society when a man apologising for the violence men commit against women causes more outcry and insult than the violence he is apologising for.

One billion women on this planet have survived violence. One billion women are living with the aftermath of this violence; the PTSD, the nightmares, the anxiety, the isolation, the shame and stigma… the blame. When a man says sorry for the abuse women have survived, why do so many people and media sources run to defend “good, non-violent men” everywhere, but when a woman has the courage to speak about surviving her own rape or surviving violence she is shamed? Why is she asked “What where you wearing?”, “Were you drunk?”, “Did you say no?”, “Did you deserve it?” Why does no one run to her defence?

Some do quietly defend and confront the excuses and redirection of blame. That often results in attacks – I’ve been viciously attacked and receive ongoing abuse in social media for speaking up against man crap.

But much more male speaking up has to happen to confront one of society’s dirtiest secrets.

I’m not sorry I’m a man at all. Neither is my wife sorry I’m a man.

But I’m sorry for the fact that more men don’t speak up and confront diverting and demeaning language – man crap. I see the excuses and the making women responsible for their safety frequently.

Men should be collectively doing far more about it.

Bickering about who is and who isn’t to blame is pointless. Men need to come up with a way of fixing their own shitty record of wrecking women’s and children’s lives.

Only a small minority of men are vicious animals, but they cause a huge amount of damage in our society.

We can either say it’s not our fault, not our problem and ignore it.

Or we can collectively stand up and do far more about it.

A good way for Murray McCully to end his privileged political career would be to make a real symbolic difference, but for him to do that he woukld have to understand the problem he is very much a part of.

I don’t agree with this petition – Demand Murray McCully, Minister for Foreign affairs, resign.

Demands are more likely to entrench opinion against resigning.

But McCully could decide to resign of his own accord, if he got what the problem he is embroiled in is and chose to do something significant about it.

Victims of rape and violence don’t so much need apologies, they need understanding of their anger and they need far more action to prevent so many women and children’s lives being wrecked, and far better support given to survivors.

Leave a comment


  1. Ian McIntosh

     /  12th July 2014

    Rather than resign, McCully should do his job and ensure that the Malaysian diplomat returns to NZ to face trial. That would require our police to get off their butts and have a prosecution case prepared, of course.

  2. kiwi_guy

     /  14th July 2014

    “Survivors of rape and domestic violence have deep hurt about what men have done to them and anger about the attitudes on display. ”

    All the research points to women being as least as likely to initiate IPV as men:


    Martin S. Fiebert
    Department of Psychology
    California State University, Long Beach

    SUMMARY: This bibliography examines 286 scholarly investigations: 221 empirical studies and 65 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 371,600. ”


    As far as the rape issue goes, what it is really about is RAPE HYSTERIA peddled by feminists. They have done this before ( in cahoots with the Religious Right ironically but not surprisingly ) in the 80s and 90s with the Satanic Ritual Child Abuse moral panic – many mens lives were destroyed in the witch hunt re: Peter Ellis. No feminist apologised to any of these victims.

  3. Carolyn

     /  14th July 2014

    @ Kiwi_guy – Can I direct you towards the work of
    Johnson, M. (2008). A typology of domestic violence: Intimate terrorism, violent resistance and situational couple violence. Hanover: Universtiy of New England.

    For me this work brings clarity to an area where it often feels like people are talking about completely different things. He identifies 3 main types of domestic violence – he differentiates between domestic violence that is motivated by a need to control (intimate terrorism), situations of intimate terrorism where the partner resists (violent resistance) and domestic violence that arises out of specific situations (situational couple violence).

    He also acknowledges women’s violence – and also references data that show that men’s violence causes by far the most damage, both physically and emotionally by way of threats.

    I also think this link says a lot.

    THIS makes sense.

    It is far from a simple topic – but respectful conversations are a good start.

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