Cunliffe’s apology hollow

Apart from being pathetic, Labour leader David Cunliffe’s apology last week for being a man was simply hollow. It may have gone down well with some in his Womens Refuge audience, but like most discussion of domestic violence in this country it ignored the real driver of such violence – the casualisation of human relationships.

An article published in the Washington Post last month summed up the now overwhelming evidence that as cultural support for marriage has declined in western societies, domestic violence and child abuse have flourished. It quoted a 2012 US Dept of Justice special report which found females living in households comprised of one female adult with children experienced intimate partner violence at a rate more than 10 times higher than households with married adults with children.

The study was based on hard evidence collated by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The response in this country was an article published on the Stuff website (“Marriage obsession fuels abuse“) which merely dismissed the numbers as part of a conservative patriachal plot to lock women into abusive situations. However unlike the Washington Post piece which had graphs, data, and referenced links – the Stuff piece had little but tired feminist rhetoric. Apparently honestly facing the evidence is “blaming women for not being married”.

Such shallow statements completely miss the point. In the last 40 years the notion that men and women should make formal, public, lifelong commitments to each other has been progressively undermined. The social science shows the outcome.

The Hon David Cunliffe’s apology is hollow because he has been part of the leadership in our country which has led the way in undermining marriage. He voted to elevate the status of de-facto relationships (Relationships Act), create alternative legal forms (Civil Unions), redefine marriage to make it meaningless (same-sex marriage legislation) and normalise prostitution (Prostitution Reform Act). Regardless of his gender, that is a record worth apologising for.

Ewen McQueen
July 2014

This entry was posted in Cultural Renewal, Honouring Marriage, Protecting Children and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cunliffe’s apology hollow

  1. M says:

    My problem lies with how he labels males as an abusive gender. This severely overshadows males that are victims to abuse from females. Abuse should be dealt with as a problem in general. By splitting it down between genders, we neglect a part of the equation that still remains an issue. Clearly no part of that equation – small or big – should take precedence over the other. The following video has gained worldwide popularity and shows that other countries are understanding the importance of treating abuse and violence equally between genders –

    The real irony in his speech is when he talks of “deep-seated sexism” shortly after his foolish opener. Maybe I’m sorry for being a man too – as it means I am associated with the generalizing sexist that is David Cunliffe.


    • Ewen McQueen says:

      Hi M
      Your comment is valid and the the video also makes the point effectively. However the real issue must surely be not who are the main perpetrators of domestic violence – but why are we all so mad with each other ? Perhaps in a culture where marriage was honoured and couples expected to get together and stay together then everyone would be a lot more secure. As it is the culture we now have in most western societies of expected multiple relationships seems to have fostered a lot of anger and hurt. Maybe this is not what we were created for…



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