UPDATE: Actually the post I wrote just before this one (The Flu) was weak. After I read the Ruminator I realised it was weak. So, let’s do that post again. Take two:
Largely thanks to fate I have grown up with women. My father died when I was five, along with my mother’s dad. My best friend was also an only child with, for quite a while, a solo mum. To me, growing up, it was normal that women worked, and were smart, and had to be tough about things, but were also loving and “there for you” when you needed them. I’m painfully inarticulate expressing myself on the subject of emotions, but I’m hoping I fumblingly managed to express some appreciation for this love over the years. Later in life I got married to a smart, tough, loving woman, and I have two daughters (it’s too early to say but I’m picking they’ll be like their mum), and in the end got a job at a girls’ school where I have the great pleasure to work with a bunch of fantastic colleagues many of whom are women, and with an amazing group of students. People are often cynical about the youth of today, but I feel that this is dead wrong. The young people I meet are not horrible, lazy cynics, they are humorous, savvy, smart and idealistic.
Of all of the people who have been influential in my life a disproportionate number have been women. This was and has always been my normal. When I was a kid there was a campaign called Girls Can Do Anything. It annoyed me because I thought it was so self-evident it didn’t need to be said, and that saying it was somehow a dig at me: as if they were accusing me of feelings I didn’t have. The women in my life have been very different from each other. My grandmother was a very large influence in my life when I was a kid. She was a mother of five who stayed her whole life at home and never left New Zealand. I loved her very much. Just as I love my mother who grew up somewhat in opposition to what her own mother’s life represented. She set out in late 1950s Otago to get a MA and a career. My mother and my grandmother were different from each other. They loved each other, and I loved them both. Life is a complex emotional journey if you have any kind of humility and respect for others. It’s not about “loving women” because all women are beautiful man. It’s about appreciating life in all its forms. That’s not hippy shit; that is the best possible way to live.
What can I tell you about now? Last week I went into my daughter’s room and my youngest daughter asked me to climb into bed with her. She’s three and a fantastic snuggler. While we were lying in the early morning dark she snuggled up to me and put her mouth next to my ear and said “can we cuddle forever?” It is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in my life. A gift from my daughter who will one day be a beatiful woman like her sister.
So here’s the news flash. It’s time for John Key to step up and stop saying Cameron Slater is a force of nature. To stop saying he is a shock jock. To stop tacitly endorsing his type of vile behaviour in general, and to specifically say that Slater’s comments on women are appalling. John Key has appeared in photos with this man, and spoken to him, and suggested that Slater is just something that is around and some people might not like. He’s right, of course, but what does he – the Prime Minister of our country – think about: “[women:] if they didn’t have cunts we’d chuck rocks at them”? What does he think about that? Because I think it’s horrific.
And do not dare, you pathetic excuses for men, write apologies for your “potty mouth” and say sorry to your mum and think that makes it ok. You think that you shouldn’t write things your mother wouldn’t want to read? What about your dad? Or is this the kind of thing that is acceptable between blokes? This kind of grotesque bullshit is what all men really think, eh? Whina Cooper. Kate Sheppard. Good thing they had their genitals or we’d have chucked rocks at them.
Forget it. I’m a man. You don’t represent me, and if you sent me an email like that I would tell you where to get off. Time for John Key to say something.
SAY SOMETHING JOHN.