Unfair to demonise all men
JOHN Edwards embodies everything anyone could possibly mean when they decry “toxic masculinity” but, really, he simply was an evil human being.
On Thursday he chased his own terrified children into a bedroom of their Sydney suburban home and executed them in cold blood as they cowered from him. Jack, 15, and Jennifer, 13, didn’t stand a chance.
The 68-year-old former AMP financial planner reportedly had a string of failed marriages before he married Russian-born Olga, who was 32 years his junior. He was abusive, the marriage ended, and he lost custody of their children.
Edwards was vile, “a selfish coward” as police characterised him. But he was an aberration. Domestic violence ideologues already are trying to use this tragedy to step up their demonisation campaign against men.
But if you tar all men with the same brush, what are you saying about Edwards’ poor son Jack, described by friends as “easy to get along with” and “caring”? What are you saying about male first responders confronted with a harrowing scene they couldn’t redeem?
What are you saying about stricken NSW Police Commander Brett McFadden: “Nothing can prepare you for walking into a home and seeing two children in that state. There are no words.”
Propagating the myth that masculinity is inherently “toxic” disempowers good men. It does not protect women and children. Monsters like Edwards won’t be moved by lectures on gendered violence.
The practical focus needs to be on how Edwards was able to access two guns when he had been the subject of Apprehended Violence Orders. Fixing a potential weakness in our gun control system would actually save lives.