Editorials 12.7.2018 08:40 am

No Bheki Cele, you miss the point on why men shouldn’t beat women

Police minister Bheki Cele during a media briefing at Leriba Lodge in Centurion where he announced a nationwide strategy to focus on cash-in-transit robberies, 6 June 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Police minister Bheki Cele during a media briefing at Leriba Lodge in Centurion where he announced a nationwide strategy to focus on cash-in-transit robberies, 6 June 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

He speaks like a man blithely unaware of the fact that men are responsible for their own actions.

If you wanted a clearer vignette of why violence against women is such a problem in this country, you’re not going to get a better one than from our Minister of Police, Bheki Cele.

Speaking at the 100 Men March at Union Buildings this week, Cele told hundreds of police trainees and other marchers that men should “learn to walk away” rather than resort to the sort of violence that leads to women arriving at police stations bruised and bloodied.

Excuse us?

The implication in your words, minister, is that in walking away, men are turning their backs on provocation.

A man is, by this assessment, being the “bigger” person, the peacemaker…

If men have to “walk away” from being able to deal with women – for fear of being pushed by these women into violence – they have a serious problem to start with. We should be dealing with that, first and foremost.

The fact that the minister of police subtly reinforces one of the dangerous stereotypes of what leads to all the assaults on women should be something that should worry all of us.

That is because he is not speaking as juxt a minister, he is also speaking as a man … and a man who appears blithely unaware of the fact that men are responsible for their own actions.

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