PBS Tries To Blame Conservatism For Mass Stabbing

News & Politics

Thursday’s Amanpour and Company demonstrated everything wrong with public broadcasting by using hushed and solemn tones to offer up the most incendiary hot takes. This particular hot take came from feminist, gender, and sexuality studies Prof. Kate Manne and NPR’s Michel Martin as they tried to tie conservatism to the recent mass stabbing in Australia.

As Manne acknowledged, the perpetrator was “a diagnosed schizophrenic who had recently, according to his family, discontinued medication, and he was living in a way that was largely itinerant.” However, “But I think we can recognize that when it comes to that question of why he targeted girls and women and why it is invariably a Joel rather than a Jane, a man rather than a woman, who has this kind of horrifically violent eruption after romantic or sexual disappointment, then we can recognize that his father’s explanation is, again, helpful that he was motivated by the sense of entitlement to women’s labor and to be ministered to and cared for by women.”

Later, Martin started the process of trying to tie this schizophrenic woman-hater to conservatives, “Some people feel like there’s kind of a worldwide movement of trying to sort of reclaim male dominance. Like, for example — like in South Korea, for example, there’s like a whole political movement to kind of fight feminism, right? The argument that there are like political parties and political leaders whose main organizing principle is that. And I’m just wondering, do you see something worldwide? And if so, what is it?”

Manne, of course, agreed, “Yes, we are absolutely seeing a rise in anti-feminist leaders worldwide who are basically capitalizing on the fact that between men and women, particularly what we see this when it comes to young men versus young women, there is a real disparity in attitudes towards feminism… And we also see that these attitudes are very common — more common, unsurprisingly, in young Republican men and to some extent, women.”

That just means people have different definitions of feminism. Young women associate it with equality and women’s rights while Republicans associate it with abortion and fake news about unequal pay, and young men associate it with the anti-male stereotyping that Manne would soon engage in after Martin asked, “Why do you say unsurprisingly?”

Manne replied with all the left-wing buzzwords, “Well, I do think that anti-feminism and conservatism are in lockstep, partly because conservative ideology is often invested in patriarchal roles and expectations being maintained, particularly for people who are also invested in white supremacy and racist ideals and values being promulgated and maintained in society.”

Later, Martin asked, “What do you think would make a difference?”

Manne responded, in part, by declaring:

So, I think we have to go right to the root of it and really start with education. Parents and educators need to be teaching people in general, children in general, but young boys in particular, that they are not entitled to social and sexual services from girls and women… I think we need to address intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and also forms of incel ideology in our education systems. And I think that there is a real call for not just teaching the nuts and bolts of sex, but also what coercive and misogynistic sexual practices look like. One example of this is there has been an alarming rise as a recent New York Times report by Peggy Orenstein showed in the rates of strangulation by men upon women during sexual encounters, and that is not a safe practice from the perspective of brain health.

Did Manne actually read Orenstein’s piece? The words “conservatism” and “misogyny” do not appear. Things that do appear include pornography, ShoTime’s Californincation, Fifty Shades of Grey, HBO’s Euphoria and The Idol, and “The chorus of Jack Harlow’s ‘Lovin On Me.’”

Here is a transcript for the April 25 show:

PBS Amanpour and Company

4/25/2024

MICHEL MARTIN: When the father of the killer expressed these thoughts, he said he wanted a girlfriend and he has no social skills and he was frustrated out of his brain, some people thought that he was blaming the victim — victims, but I felt that he was just describing what he saw, and I just wonder — I thought that was helpful information to know that he — that that was what was in his mind.

KATE MANNE: I admit that when I initially saw the remarks taken out of context, I worried that it was an example of what I call himpathy, where sympathy is extended to a male perpetrator of violence and misogyny over his female victims.

But when I saw the entire interview of this grieving father, my reaction was very different. I think he was just trying to explain, not excuse or justify his son’s actions. I think he was horrified by what his son did. His statement had a recognizably both and form. He said, “I am loving a monster. And to you he’s a monster, to me, he’s a sick boy. He’s a very sick boy. Believe me, he’s a sick boy.”

And that is not inaccurate. Joel Cauchi was a diagnosed schizophrenic who had recently, according to his family, discontinued medication, and he was living in a way that was largely itinerant. He was on the fringes of society. We don’t have to sympathize with him whatsoever to recognize that when it comes to a particular question, why did this man, who was aggrieved and lonely, snap on this day, then we can invoke the fact that he had a particular kind of mental illness that unlike most kinds of mental illness does result in an increased rate of violence.

But I think we can recognize that when it comes to that question of why he targeted girls and women and why it is invariably a Joel rather than a Jane, a man rather than a woman, who has this kind of horrifically violent eruption after romantic or sexual disappointment, then we can recognize that his father’s explanation is, again, helpful that he was motivated by the sense of entitlement to women’s labor and to be ministered to and cared for by women.

MARTIN: Some people feel like there’s kind of a worldwide movement of trying to sort of reclaim male dominance. Like, for example — like in South Korea, for example, there’s like a whole political movement to kind of fight feminism, right? The argument that there are like political parties and political leaders whose main organizing principle is that. And I’m just wondering, do you see something worldwide? And if so, what is it?

MANNE: Yes, we are absolutely seeing a rise in anti-feminist leaders worldwide who are basically capitalizing on the fact that between men and women, particularly what we see this when it comes to young men versus young women, there is a real disparity in attitudes towards feminism. And we see this in the U.S. context too where almost half of young Democratic men in a recent study by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2022 showed that nearly half of Democratic men believed, when they were young, that feminism was a backward step and that it was a mistake and a negative for society.

And that is in marked contrast to women’s attitudes where young women, it was less than a quarter who said that. And we also see that these attitudes are very common — more common, unsurprisingly, in young Republican men and to some extent, women.

MARTIN: Why do you say unsurprisingly?

MANNE: Well, I do think that anti-feminism and conservatism are in lockstep, partly because conservative ideology is often invested in patriarchal roles and expectations being maintained, particularly for people who are also invested in white supremacy and racist ideals and values being promulgated and maintained in society.

We’re seeing a lot of feminist social progress. We’re seeing women educated in record numbers, and women being able to achieve positions of power and prestige and leadership and having a voice in new ways, we’re seeing women tell their stories as in the MeToo movement in ways that are unapologetic and unashamed.

But it’s not in spite of that, but I think precisely because of that we also simultaneously see anti-feminist backlash where patriarchal forces are trying to re-entrench and re-establish the status quo, and that you often see people who are influenced by those social forces being caught in the grip of misogynist ideologies, and also those misogynistic ideologies being used and exploited to elect certain people who are anti-feminist positions of power worldwide.

MARTIN: What do you think would make a difference?

MANNE: So, I think we have to go right to the root of it and really start with education. Parents and educators need to be teaching people in general, children in general, but young boys in particular, that they are not entitled to social and sexual services from girls and women, and that they need to be obligated to other people and reciprocating forms of care that we all owe to each other, but not because of our gender, rather, just because we’re decent human beings.

I think we need to address intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and also forms of incel ideology in our education systems. And I think that there is a real call for not just teaching the nuts and bolts of sex, but also what coercive and misogynistic sexual practices look like. One example of this is there has been an alarming rise as a recent New York Times report by Peggy Orenstein showed in the rates of strangulation by men upon women during sexual encounters, and that is not a safe practice from the perspective of brain health.

So, we need to be teaching young people that this is not a sexual practice that is safe. And it is one that is rooted in a form of domination and control that is deeply misogynistic.

I think that some of the answers also have to do with having better mental health care available for victims recovering from these kinds of assaults and traumas and even just the everyday weathering that we suffer as the result of street harassment. And also, yes, potential perpetrators also need access to better mental health care in America and Australia alike.

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