By David Futrelle
If all publicity is good publicity, then Bettina Arndt is absolutely killing it right now. The Australian “sex therapist” and Men’s Rights grifter has been in the news there almost constantly since late January, when she was mysteriously awarded one of Australia’s top honors for her alleged “services to gender equity,” which seem to have consisted mostly of slagging off the “feminist domestic violence industry” and offering strange apologetics for literal pedophiles.
And so the news of her winning the Australia day award was immediately followed by calls for her to be stripped of the award as soon as humanly possible.
Now she’s ignited an even bigger firestorm (not literally) with her appalling, victim-blaming response to news of a grisly murder. On February 19th, a Queensland man with a history of violence and stalking and threats brutally killed his estranged wife and their three children by pouring gasoline on their car and setting it (and them) on fire.
Arndt responded by echoing the words of a Queensland police detective who had wondered aloud if the murder was the result of the husband being “driven too far” by his wife. She also mocked what she called the “misplaced outrage” around the detective’s remarks.
These comments set off another round of well-placed outrage directed at Arndt, which ultimately resulted in the Australian parliament itself voting for a resolution demanding she be stripped of her award lest she “bring the Order of Australia, instituted by Her Majesty The Queen, into disrepute.” This is largely a symbolic gesture, as the Parliament is not directly involved in granting or un-granting the award, but as symbolic gestures go, it’s kind of a big deal.
Still, Arndt has her defenders. In the Men’s Rights subreddit, a commenter called Rabel111 complained that
The removal of her Order of Australia medal may silence those who speak up for men’s health and the support of fathers in family law, and signal further despair and marginalisation of men and boys in our community.
Not unless those men are murderers and/or pedophiles.
Another commenter took aim at feminists.
Feminism views society in terms of a struggle between the genders. Men as the oppressors and women as the oppressed. They are not interested in compassion or understanding for all. To them, it is a war of attrition, and only one side can be ultimately victorious. Arndt pisses them off for many reasons, one being that she is a traitor who has defected to the enemy. She deserves her medal.
A third commenter was even more blunt:
Feminists one day will pay [for] their shit
But even some of her supporters have been having a little trouble defending her latest remarks. As one of them put it in a comment in the Australia subreddit:
While I don’t agree with Arndt on this one or several other matters (she chooses some terrible hills to die on) she’s one of the only people daring to speak out on behalf of men, and she’s firmly in the sights of the feminist mafia as a result. Even before this kerfuffle, she was being hounded by radical feminist groups for daring to suggest that men aren’t the privileged ones. Arndt dared to break ranks and she’s being targeted for silencing as a result.
Then there was the guy who somehow managed to compare her to some of history’s worst tyrants in what was ostensibly a statement of support for her winning (and keeping) the award:
I don’t like Arndt and most of her “work”, but I’m very, very glad she got an honour for her work to recognize male victims of domestic violence …
I’m on a permanent disability pension after being bashed by my ex-wife for years. …
It is so incredibly rare in Australia for anyone to take up the mantle of male DV victims and fight for them. If … Stalin or Hitler or Goebbels [were] fighting for male victims of violence to get equal assistance and support in Australia I would be cheering them on too, simply because there is nobody else doing it and we need someone, even if they were a literal Nazi or a pedo sympathizer or member of the National Party or whatever.
With friends like those .. well, with friends like those you’re probably Bettina Arndt.
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