Bradford has been in the media today attacking the boofhead male culture that predominates in this land. She may have a point, but she may have gone too far when she suggested that this culture leads to Once Were Warriors style domestic violence.
The Herald reported today:
Ms Bradford said The Rock's competition, alcohol ads, and Prime Minister John Key's recent labelling of actress Elizabeth Hurley as "hot", signified a cultural shift in New Zealand.I certainly cringe whenever I see some beer ads. The ads for some of the most undrinkable types of New Zealand beer (e.g. Lion Red, DB Export etc*) tend to pander to a particular tribal mindset, where men are rugged simpletons, heterosexual (no gays thanks) but harassed by their wives and girlfriends. Solace can be found only in the company of other rugged male simpletons, and in sport. This image no doubt appeals to many men, and helps to create brand loyalty.
"It feels like there's a zeitgeist around right now, which obviously the alcohol companies are picking up on, the Prime Minister is picking up on, and this particular radio station is picking up on," she said.
Such advertising and promotions took New Zealand back to a "Once Were Warriors psychology", where men got drunk and came home and abused their wives.
And commercial radio is often little better, as the "win a wife" competition demonstrates so clearly.
But Bradford may be drawing a long bow when she suggests a direct linkage between our tribal boofhead culture and domestic violence. Most aspects of this male culture are harmless, however juvenile and tasteless they may be. For some men a spot of male bonding over a few cans of "Red" may even be a source of tension release.
I don't condone, however, the behaviour of the Prime Minister in appearing on Tony Veitch's show. Key's conduct in discussing who was hot was hardly dignified, but the far greater offence was in having this discussion with a man convicted after pushing his partner down the stairs and breaking her back. Key's interview went beyond bad taste and ventured into the creepy.
Do you agree that our fascination with this bloke culture contributes to violence against women? Is Bradford right? Or is she out of line?
* I don't mean to sound like a beer snob, but I've drunk a lot of beers from different parts of the world in my time, and both of these beers are shit.