Friday, 18 July 2008

My last post on Tony Veitch

I think I'm almost done on Tony Veitch, and the media response. Well I could probably write many more thousands of words about everything that has made me angry, but it's time to start writing about other things (I have a really good post in my head about the truckies, but I'll probably never write it).

But one aspect of this that I don't want to leave uncommented on, is the faux surprise (or maybe it's real surprise, that's even scarier) of the media that TV presenters are abusive in their relationship. The implicit racism, and pig-ignorance about abuse in these statements was made clear by the Sunday Star Times with its description: "the kind of violence you'd associate with Once Were Warriors."

To recap: Intimate abuse happens everywhere, in Porirua and Khadallah, in council flats, mansions and your local activist house; by all ethnicities: Pakeha, Maori, Samoan, Indian, Tongan, Chinese, American, Vietnamese, Somali; by the richest, and the poorest and everyone in between.

Which isn't to say that these other factors don't change the dynamics of intimate abuse - they do. Kristin Dunne-Powell's (who has my full solidarity and support) financial position made it much easier for her to leave and survive. Those looking at stopping intimate abuse need to look at all sorts of factors

But first those who don't think about intimate abuse from one TV commerical to the next, need to acknowledge that it's not limited to the scary other.


And my very last comment (I hope) will be to quote something Tony Veitch said. Demonstrating that he can see the silver lining in breaking his girlfriend's back:
The one bright spot for me out of this, but the only thing that's kept me sane this week is that if everything hadn't happened I would not have learned lessons, I would not have gone to counselling. I would not have sat in front of a counsellor who was explaining ... it's almost like ... I remember coming home some days with revelations and I would learn stuff, and I would not have learned how to have a relationship and I would not have fallen in love and I wouldn't be married now. I would be alone.


Hugh said...

To recap: Intimate abuse happens everywher... by the richest, and the poorest and everyone in between.

While I feel what you're saying is true, I think it's worth saying that there is a link between poverty and domestic violence. Although it could be argued it's just more widely reported among the poor.

I'm not sure if you're quoting Veitch approvingly or not, Maia, I suspect not. It saddens me to see that it took such an act of violence to get Veitch to realise there was something wrong with him. One of the biggest problems of masculine culture, IMO, is the idea that talking about one's emotions, particularly with a professional but also with a partner, is somehow stupid.

Anna McM said...

Yes, it's important that men be able to speak about their emotions - but isn't Maia's point that in Veitch's comment he shows it's all about him? Eg, the silver lining is not that counselling has helped him become less dangerous to women, but that it's prevented him from being lonely?

Maia said...

When you have done real harm to someone else, to take away from that how it has made things better for you shows a deep-seated lack of interest in other people except as objects that relate to you. The sort of mindsent that perpetuates and excuses abuse.