“Real manhood is something to be cherished”

July 8, 2014

Let me begin by saying I know next to nothing about New Zealand politics. But I don’t need to in order to enjoy this post from theologian Glenn Peoples, a New Zealander. Here he’s criticizing Labour leader David Cunliffe, who, when speaking to a women’s group recently about domestic violence, apologized for being a man.

To this, Dr. Peoples said:

But Sir, you disappoint me. In response to male domestic violence, call men back to manhood. Embody the man they should be. Show the world what it is like to be a real man. Take them to task for failing as men. Real men have virtue. They love their wives and protect their children. That is part of what it means to be a real man. Men are the solution to this problem. Manhood, real manhood, is something to be cherished, and it does not happen enough. This is not the time to demean manhood further, but to praise it. When women tell their stories of being subjected to violence, they tell us #YesAllWomen. Regrettably and to your shame, Mr Cunliffe, you have responded to domestic abuse by telling us that #YesAllMen should be ashamed because of the actions of a relative few. Worse than that most stigmatised of practices, “slut shaming,” you would have men of virtue apologising out of a sense of shame for actions they have never even committed. If you must timidly bow and do penance for anything, make it something of yours, not mine, sir.

Do not apologise for being a man. If that is your answer, then if I may be so harsh, it sounds like you might be apologising for something you’re not guilty of in the first place. Men who know what it is to be a man are never sorry for being a man. They just wish that there were more of us.

Grow a pair,

Glenn Peoples

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