“We do not live in a fair society. Laws, rules and regulations are being tilted to favour women at the expense of men – most people think that is not gender equity.” - Bettina Arndt
We’ve all been there. Starving. Rummaging through the spider-webbed region of the pantry. Side-eyeing spices and cans of beans that you were stockpiling in case of a climate apocalypse. And then you find it… a baguette baked by your great-great-grandmother in France, circa 1837. I am certain it was a glorious thing in the days after its escape from the oven, but it has become an ugly monstrosity spoiling everything it touches.
That’s what Fourth Wave Feminism is – an idea that expired half a century ago and has been left to fester in its own wrapping, sprouting all manner of hell from its decomposing ideas. Egalitarianism has decayed to retaliation and those brave enough to wage war with its wraiths must be prepared for spillage oozing from wounds commonly known as ‘Cancel Culture’.
Magnifying glasses reveal imperfection. Regret, poor judgement, mistakes and misadventure were once understood as ‘shared humanity’ but within the sadistic throes of Social Justice’s romance, tiny errors are used to discredit the person in order to invalidate their contribution. The attempted murder of Bettina Arndt’s reputation is a poignant example of this disingenuous trick. Squabbles over the presentation of her qualifications by the media were just that – noise. Accusations of mishandled interviews with sexual offenders held weight, but like the statistics used by Nina Funnell’s claim of a rape crisis on campus, they were shamelessly hyperbolised for politics.
Arndt is not here to dismiss women’s experiences of sexual assault; she’s here to make sure vested interests cannot manipulate isolated crimes into exaggerated figures to perpetuate an ideological falsity.
Renowned as a sex therapist (when men hid their copies of Penthouse under the bed) and now a culture warrior, Arndt championed #MENTOO in reaction to the overbearing and often destructive #METOO phenomenon. Hysterics have long surrounded her TV interviews, books, articles and campaigns created to combat legislation twisted unfairly against men. When Arndt uses facts to highlight the struggle fathers face in custody battles – the feeling is rage. Revealing that universities run kangaroo courts for rape allegations outside the rigours of the law? De-platformed. Criticism of positive discrimination gender quotas? How dare she. Acknowledgement of a social campaign against masculinity? Fury!
At no point is the response self-reflection or debate.
This dogged advocacy for men attracted her nomination and subsequent awarding of the Order of Australia, triggering our usual corner of self-congratulatory moral custodians. Feminists have laid out a strict victimhood narrative for women which relies on the perceived culture of male oppression. Without it, demands for quotas, exemptions and exceptions evaporate. Those who pick apart the warp and weft of the narrative are immediately set upon by a mob to preserve the garment and the privilege that comes from wearing it.
Now for the outrage.
Australia Day is an activist picnic with those who campaign ferociously against the celebration lining up to salivate over the accolades on offer. The inevitable moans of gender disparity in the award presentation cause aggravation because nominations come from the public and are submitted to a rigorous system of judging. Instead of women taking this discrepancy as a hint to try harder next time, commentators lament that merit is an ‘insufficient tool’ where merit-based awards are concerned and that we should use quotas instead. How this works in the age of a thousand genders is anyone’s guess.
When a woman like Arndt actually manages to win one of these coveted awards, the natural response is to submit her to a trial by social media then bury the body.
That should encourage more women to partake, eh? Gender parity, meet parody.
In addition to the accusation of a personal vendetta against Arndt by the embarrassed Funnell, sexual inequity remains the sacred cow of Feminism. It is the resentful soul of a movement which once flourished in sexual liberation but has become a recluse, partly because core feminists would rather sleep with each other than men. While they remain furious that the majority of women find their boyfriends and husbands irresistible, Arndt embodies everything Feminists despise – a figure who specialises in bringing these parties back to the bedroom.