Thursday, April 16, 2009

He ain’t called Veitchy anymore

NZ Herald.

They don’t call him Vietchy much anymore do they, they call him ‘Mr Veitch’ as in ‘Mr Veitch you have some very serious charges pending’.

Ugh – the whole thing was so human and awful wasn’t it? A media that when they weren’t being played by each persons PR team were breathlessly reporting allegations as fact to a gossip loving public on one of the last great taboos of NZ society – domestic violence. She was painted as some kind of bunny boiler who wouldn’t leave Vietch alone and when she did push him too far and he attacked her she manipulated the situation to gain cash and a scorned woman’s vengeance. He was painted as a jumped up little git who like a spoiled child couldn’t seem to comprehend anything beyond ‘why me’ and effectively walked with a very light sentence that if had been committed by anyone of a lesser social class would’ve been jail. All of this with a Public campaign in the background that domestic violence isn’t acceptable, a message which seems to have been lost somewhere in the scandal laden headlines.

We are a pretty angry, uptight, alcoholic society, in a colonial culture that respected hard men who earned the family wage, masculinity and the emotional capacity to deal with stress is as primordial as it always has been, while women have taken the 1970’s creed of ‘Women can do anything’ to new levels of independence that seem to further intimidate men who aren’t sure what their role in society is any longer. I’ve never hit a woman, it breaches fundamental principles within my own honour code that I refuse to breach, but I’m cognitive of my honour code and don’t define my own self respect with my fists, many blokes I’ve met however don’t seem to be cognitive of their honor code, there seems to me to be a dark fetid pool of subconscious fury that finds voice through violence that I suspect is rooted in a serious lack of male self identity.

How we go about seriously combating domestic violence requires men challenging other men about their violent behavior, but it is a challenge that demands the violent person to look within themselves and actually talk about why they feel the way they do, to identify the root cause of their malaise while honestly dispatching the bullshit excuses men use to defend the indefensible. Nominally that is a lesson-gift a father passes to his son, but with so many NZ fathers preferring to walk rather than stick around the fundamentals of redefining masculinity are left unlearnt and violently explode out in times of stress and insecurity.

It really is time for NZ men to man up.

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