How a tragedy became a man-hating rant

I am both outraged and heartbroken at the murder of Grace Millane. A beautiful young woman on her OE, travelling the world, ought to be safe in a country like New Zealand and in a city like Auckland. That she was not is a blot on our landscape, our history and our culture. She is, sadly, not the first tourist to be murdered here. Think Monica Cantwell in 1989, or Urban Hoglin and Heidi Paakkonen in the same year. Think Karen Aim in 2008. All of these people came to New Zealand for outdoor pursuits or for fun and were murdered. It is a tragedy beyond all reason.

Emotional reactions are understandable, but it is a travesty when the opportunity is taken to use the murder of a young woman to promote a favoured hobby horse. Unfortunately, that is exactly what The Aunties on facebook did.

We all know that The Aunties provide shelter for battered women. We know that because this time last year, they expressed their gratitude for food donations by telling people not to give them tinned tomatoes or chickpeas. I know they do good work and should be recognised for it, but when did the murder of one poor, unfortunate young woman become a blight on all men, particularly all white men? I really hate to have to bring this up, but which racial group in this country is the one that seems to do the most harm to women and children? Answer: it is not white men.

Do we actually know the ethnic background of the man charged with Grace’s murder? Currently, name suppression is in force and must be respected. Maybe?The Aunties have a hotline to the New Zealand Police. It’s probably the same one that tells us that ?Mr Gayford is not and has not been the subject of any police inquiry, nor has he been charged in relation to any matter.?

Twitter, as usual, is full of it.

I never know whether to laugh or hit my head against a wall when I see this stuff. Here is a cis (I hate that word, but hey) white man telling other cis white men that they are part of the problem. Note to Rhys Jones. You are a white man, ergo you are part of the problem too. Please go ?fuck? yourself.

#NotAllMen is fair enough. Why do we even have to think we have to point out that not all men are murderers? That not all white men are murderers?

I do have a theory about tourists in New Zealand. Because New Zealand really is a relatively safe place, compared to most tourists’ home countries, I believe that too many let their guard down. They take risks they would never dream of taking at home. As for comments about how she shouldn’t have been travelling alone… well, it is a fair point. We all know she should be able to do anything, but the world is not a safe place. New Zealand isn’t totally safe either.

Unfortunately, whether that is true or not, we are still faced with the tragic murder of a lovely young woman who should still be alive today, but is not. We should all feel sad, feel outraged and feel ashamed that one of our countrymen did this.

But we should not be using it as an excuse to blame all men for violence against women.