Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Friday, 19 December 2014

New Zealand Prime Minister Wears Offensive T-Shirt And Everyone Gets Mad

The Debrief: Probably don't wear a tee shirt directly contradicting a guy who gave a heartening talk at a Women's Refuge symposium

John Key, the New Zealand prime minister has come under fire for wearing a tee shirt saying 'I'M NOT SORRY FOR BEING A MAN' after a recent speech by ex-Labour leader David Cunliffe where he said 'I’m sorry for being a man … because family and sexual violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men against women and children'.

John Key responded by saying he found the comments 'insulting' because not all men are abusive - so The Edge radio gave him the t-shirt as part of a joke Secret Santa present that took the piss out of a number of high profile news stories over the last week. Obviously someone took a picture of him wearing the t-shirt, obviously everyone now thinks he's an arsehole. 

Jay-Jay Harvey of Edge Radio said in a statement that the gift was just a joke: 'The shirt was part of a trio of joke Secret Santa gifts for John, all in relation to high-profile news stories involving politics. A bottle of Whale Oil, (website scandal), a Kim Dotcom cd (there was a police raid on Kim Dotcom’s house, his assets were seized by the FBI then Kim sponsored a political party, which never made it to parliament) and the shirt is in reference to former leader of the opposition David Cunliffe saying at a Women’s Refuge get-together ‘I’m sorry for being a man’. The tee we gave john is a joke against David Cunliffe. Nothing more.'

That in and of itself is nothing more than really stupid - his PR should have told the prime minister not to wear the tee shirt, even if it is a joke - as while it appears to be making light of sexual assault, you wouldn't say 'I'm sorry for being Muslim' just because an overwhelming amount of Isis members are Muslim. Although, of course, Cunliffe's sentiment remains positive - that men should take ownership of the fact it's scary being a woman walking around at night (or in the day) even though it's obviously not all men who are causing such fear. It's enough of them for there to be an issue, so stop pretending to be offended and start doing something about it. 

This all comes at the same time as the recent surge in Meninism, a jokey Twitter profile - and now, hashtag - where guys complain about the difficulties about being a man in the 21st century.

 

Of course, amid the joking and the genuinely valid points (there's a lot of 'Hey why is not OK to be under six foot?!' tweets) lie the misogynists who tweet things like abortion solutions - with pictures of women being pushed down stairs. 

 

We've got some way to go before we all settle down and realise that a) feminists don't hate men b) men don't hate women and c) the anomalies who do hate women/men are arseholes and both genders should call them out. 

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Tags: Sexism