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A dangerous game

I’m really not sure whether this man is the biggest troll ever or whether he is being perfectly serious.

“Most men are provoked into domestic violence.”

Immortal – not to mention totally unexpected – words uttered by Dr Josie Muscat.

If any man had said this to me in the course of a private social setting, my reaction would have been immediate; this one’s just trying to get an easy rise out of me. Let’s not give him the satisfaction.

Because really, in this supposedly enlightened day and age it’s impossible that a mature man genuinely believes that he can get away with such a  statement without having his judgement questioned. Even if he does follow his words with a weak “it cannot be excused”.

So yes, in a hypotethical social setting, I’d have smiled and walked away, drink in hand and rolling my eyes at the very obvious attention-seeking attempt.

However, Dr Muscat did not utter these words in a private social setting. He came out with the shocker while speaking at a forum about gender violence. Ah, sweet irony.

I’m really not keen on the uber-feminist, male bashing brigade but this time round it really needs to be said. Some men had better think twice or even three times before expounding redundant theories in public.

Here is some news: violence usually does happen when someone is provoked, irrespective of gender or circumstances. Few people will resort to violence without some sort of provocation; these are called psychos and/or sadists and luckily there aren’t many of them around.

The idea, of course, is that as civilised beings we do not yield to the provocation.

I’m provoked by morons blocking the fast lane on my way to the office every single morning.

Patience is not my strong suit, so I’m also provoked by slow people who seem to take 30 minutes to grasp a simple point pretty regularly.

I’m extremely provoked by people who are nasty to animals – it’s a massive Achilles heel for me and the provocation in the face of any sort of nastiness to animals is very high.

There are a hundred other things that provoke my anger on a regular basis. Despite these myriad temptations I have never actually punched anyone. I’m sure I am the cause of some major provocations in other people myself – no-one is perfect. Happily, no-one has as yet put Dr Muscat’s justifications in practice on me.

My point? Dr Muscat’s statement is dangerous. Whether he means it seriously or not. Even he follows it up with a self-righteous “but I’m not saying it’s okay to do this”, fact remains that finding a justification for violence is always dangerous.

We already suffer too much from a very macho Latin mentality. Let’s not encourage it any further.

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