Letters to the editor July 14 2018

TOO MANY LOST: Reader Julie Robinson argues men's attitudes to women need to change in simple ways to help reduce the large numbers of women killed each year.
TOO MANY LOST: Reader Julie Robinson argues men's attitudes to women need to change in simple ways to help reduce the large numbers of women killed each year.

LARGE numbers of women are being killed by men. Also, way too many are being injured physically, mentally and emotionally. Some men feel they are lumped into the same basket as those who sexually harass or harm women. There is no reason to feel this way if you treat women with respect.

Relationships start going downhill when men treat women as objects, possessions or drudges and not as equals. What man wants his wife or partner and children to hate being around him? Being fair and respectful in a relationship brings positive results, and it makes children feel secure.

It is hard to hear about women and children’s lives being taken in brutal ways. It is also hard to hear about men harming themselves afterwards. Attitudes to women need to change.

Derogatory terms like the boss, the missus, her or she and the little woman need to be replaced with a woman’s first name. Believe me; women don’t usually leave men who are good to them.

Julie Robinson, Cardiff

VIOLENCE IS THE REAL ISSUE

I TAKE issue with Janet Sutherland’s claim (Letters 12/7) that "most people do agree that rape and abuse of women... has its basis in a patriarchal society”.  Perhaps most gender theorists agree, but those of us with any wisdom consider rape and abuse to be criminal issues - not social ones.

I believe treating rape and abuse against women as anything other than criminal misbehaviour cheapens its impact on the victims and reduces the accountability of the perpetrators.  

We don’t misattribute theft, robbery or murder to “toxic masculinity” or other imaginary things - why do so with rape and domestic violence? Violence is initiated by violent people who must be contained for the safety of society as a whole. Accountability should lie solely with the individuals who make the conscious choice to harm innocents, not “patriarchy”.

Scott Hillard, New Lambton

STEP AWAY FROM PUB’S DA

I ENCOURAGE Newcastle City Council to immediately disassociate itself from any consideration of the Development Application (DA) to increase the operating and associated noise levels of the Queens Wharf Hotel (“Hotel applies to extend live music hours on wharf”, Herald 12/7).

I understand Newcastle City Council own this and the Clarendon Hotel sites. 

Whilst council may not hold the liquor license for these two pubs, I believe they appear to have failed to declare this important pecuniary financial interest in their written submission to the recent Horton review of Newcastle’s alcohol controls and their proposed After Dark strategy.

Both related council reports advocated for weakening our package of life and cost-saving alcohol provisions including an increase in late trading hours, increase in alcohol outlet density and relaxing other drink controls. 

Senior police and health officials remain concerned that the council’s proposed policies will inevitably result in an associated increase in harms and alcohol-related disturbances, something council’s leadership reminds current and future inner city residents, shift workers and families they are just going to have to get used to.

Unlike its approach to parking controls, the council apparently took no penalty action against Queens Wharf Hotel’s flagrant and continued breach of their DA conditions designed to minimise undue noise disturbances. Until residents reminded council of the enforceable DA provisions, I believe they incorrectly asserted it was solely a matter for the Liquor & Gaming Authority.

I find the council’s relationship with the local alcohol industry, in contrast to inner-city residents (like all residents) who have a right to the peaceful and relatively quiet enjoyment of their neighbourhoods, disturbing. In any balance of such interests a high level of openness, impartiality, probity and integrity must be paramount.

Tony Brown, Newcastle

ROUGH DOESN’T MEAN DIRTY

WE HEAR a lot about the homeless people living rough in the cities. You can’t help it if you have to rough it on the streets, but you don’t have to be grubby as well. On recent visits to Newtown I have walked past three homeless people camped on the footpath at various spots, mainly outside convenience stores in the main street and the mess they leave is unbelievable. Coffee cups and food containers all round their bedding.  Surely they could at least put their rubbish in the bin. Is it any wonder that some people are homeless? At least the ones at St James station kept their area clean and tidy when I went through there last year. Please don’t get me wrong. I am not a snob. I have lived in Sydney in my younger years and done it tough along with my widowed mother. Life was never meant to be easy, some just have to work a lot harder.

Olwyn Edmonds, Eleebana

HOW MUCH CAN WE DO

IN AN opinion piece (“We still have a chance to save the Great Barrier Reef”, Opinion 12/7) Professor Lesley Hughes urges Australians to save the reef by addressing climate change and states that we have the means to do it – by transitioning from use of fossil fuels to renewables.

Professor Hughes asks “Do we really want to be known as the generation of Australians who had a chance to save the reef, but didn’t?” This seems to me, to be an academic argument, rather than a practical solution, because, we are told that this is a global issue, rather than a local issue. So how can Australia, which contributes 1.3% of global emissions, really save the reef? It seems to me that, at best, we can contribute only 1.3% of the effort needed to save the reef.

Zenon Helinski, Newcastle

A TWIST ON TONGUE TIES

JULIA Riseley (Letters 13/7) uses the words archaic and distressing in her reference to racehorses who wear tongue ties.

I have ridden hundreds of thoroughbreds in races, trials and track work who have worn the device and not one has displayed any form of resentment, distress or pain.

Primarily a tongue tie is applied to assist with the horse’s breathing procedure - would you rather witness a horse collapsing in front of the grandstand lacking oxygen?

Alan Gollogly, The Hill

LETTER OF THE WEEK

THE pen goes to Julie Robinson, of Cardiff, for her letter on the importance of equality in relationships. 

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