Enough's enough, this newspaper says every time now that it reports a case of domestic violence. Enough's enough, I'd like to add, when it is suggested this is some innate male tendency that we can fix with blokey discussions.
I'm tired of reading "a message to our men" and hearing an array of role models say things like, "As men we have to get our act together and stop this." The implication is that violence to women is embedded in the male gene and we have to help each other control it.
As men know, that is simply not so. But it is not the misrepresentation of our sexuality that worries me, it's the comfort this tender, inclusive message will be giving to deviants who think they're normal.
Boys normally realise very early in life that they simply do not hit girls. Of course they're told they shouldn't fight at all but their father's tone becomes more serious when he says, "You don't hit girls. Not for any reason. There are no excuses. Never."
The message goes deeper into our being than women possibly realise. It becomes part of our sexuality in the correct meaning of that word. It means we cannot hit a woman, and I'm not just talking morally, I mean physically. Our mental wiring makes it well nigh impossible to do. It's like forcing a magnet to act against its poles.
I suspect women do know this. It is the reason they can intervene in male brawls with reasonable confidence and the reason those who suffer domestic violence regard their assailant with utter contempt. So should we all.
As men, we should not be having matey discussions with these contemptible specimens. "It's not OK" will not be enough to correct whatever it was in their upbringing that deprived them of normal male self respect. It might be more useful to tell them what we really think.
A rock star who once left a girlfriend with a battered face wants to come here for a concert at Vector Arena in December. Dame Tariana Turia says we should let him in because he has made a public apology, speaks against violence and could usefully speak to young men here.
I'd like to know how he talks about it. Does he pose as bad-boy-cum-good, dangerous cool? Or is he so ashamed of what he did that it is evident he feels less than a man?
I don't care whether he comes into the country, I'm worried that he can sell seats in Vector Arena. Rock stars usually trade on machismo and if this guy still has any of that in the eyes of his generation we really have a problem.
It is a generation that has grown up in an age when academic and political discussion has eschewed gender distinctions and the word sexuality has been reduced to mean sexual interest or orientation. It is rare these days to find serious writing on the elements of male and female sexuality and a great deal of social research is devoted to proving that no significant differences exist.
Even on the subject of domestic violence, there is a tendency to deny the obvious. When David Cunliffe made his excruciating apology for being a man last year, one Auckland academic criticised him because some domestic violence is committed by women. It is hard to imagine a sillier moral equivalence, or one more dangerous to offer to deficient males.
Cunliffe's apology went down well with the audience of women's refuge organisers and in wider academic circles where social responsibility is considered the solution to all problems. There was genuine surprise in those places that Cunliffe looked so ridiculous to almost everyone else.
The reason his apology went down so badly was that most people, men and women, know that men are not predisposed to domestic violence and it does no good to put that myth in susceptible minds.
It must be terrible to be trapped in a relationship by violence and this country has the highest rate of domestic violence in the world, 14 women a year on average are killed by the despicable loser they had taken for a man.
Once Were Warriors did us no favours. In real life any male who hits a woman would probably not dare threaten violence to a man. He does it to a woman because he is incapable of asserting himself any other way. He is emotionally and verbally limited, knows he is not respected anywhere, drinks alone and finds satisfaction controlling his home.
Social scientists will be quick to tell me contempt is not a helpful response to low self-esteem but pretending it is a generalised male problem is not doing much good. Try contempt. At least it's true.