On Monday night the ABC’s Q&A program hosted a special Broadside feminist festival panel consisting of all female guests moderated by Fran Kelly. Q&A guest Mona Eltahawy responded to a question about male violence with a response that has generated widespread disgust. What was Fran’s response? “Them’s fighting words”. But what did Mona say to put ABC executives in damage control?
Since the episode aired the comments were disabled and the like to dislike ratio was 1:13 (67/872) with the overwhelming majority of Australians disgusted at this taxpayer funded hate-fest. The footage has been taken down, pending an internal investigation. This reeks of the sort of oversight that saw Zaky Mallah allowed on Q&A back in 2015.
ABC Managing Director released a statement yesterday, stating: “The ABC acknowledges that the program was provocative in regard to the language used and some of the views presented.” and that ” We have received audience complaints about the program, are assessing the concerns raised and will investigate whether the program met the ABC’s editorial standards.” You can read the whole statement here.
“The ABC acknowledges that the program was provocative in regard to the language used and some of the views presented … we have received audience complaints about the program, are assessing the concerns raised and will investigate whether the program met the ABC’s editorial standards.”ABC Managing Director
Why didn’t Fran Kelly challenge Mona? Who in the ABC vetted Mona Eltahawy and gave the all clear for her to be a featured panelist? Did they read any of her latest book? Did they know that she has advocated for violence in her book, that there is a whole chapter on the topic of violence? Let’s have a look at the details.
You can follow along with the transcript on the Q&A website here.
MURRAY SAUNDER: “Thanks, Fran. When trying to bring about significant change, when is aggression and violence a better option than assertiveness, strong arguments and modelling the behaviour you expect of others?”
FRAN KELLY: “Ashton?”
ASHTON APPLEWHITE: “When none of that other stuff works.”
FRAN KELLY: “It’s as simple as that?”
ASHTON APPLEWHITE: “Yep.”
MONA ELTAHAWY: “I have an answer for this that a lot of people do not like. I want patriarchy to fear feminism. And there is a chapter in my book on violence. There is a chapter in my book about white women who voted for Trump and white women who accept crumbs from patriarchy because they allow their whiteness to trump their gender. I’m fully aware of this. But at the end of the day, even those white women have to recognise that nothing protects them from patriarchy.
Nothing. For me, as a feminist the most important thing is to destroy patriarchy. And all of this talk about how, if you talk about violence, you’re just becoming like the men. So, your question is a really important one but I’m going to answer it with another question. How long must we wait for men and boys to stop murdering us, to stop beating us and to stop raping us? How many rapists must we kill? Not the state, because I disagree with the death penalty and I want to get rid of incarceration and I’m with you on the police. So I want women themselves… As a woman I’m asking, how many rapists must we kill until men stop raping us?”
FRAN KELLY: “So, Mona, them’s fighting words. Spectator Australia is already saying Mona is promoting violence.”
MONA ELTAHAWY: “Mm-hm.”
FRAN KELLY: “That’s what you’re doing?”
MONA ELTAHAWY: “Well, what I’m doing is I’m saying that violence has been owned by the state. That violence has been given by the state to its police. That violence has been allowed to continue, unchecked mostly, by men, especially privileged men. So, exactly how long do I have to wait to be safe? And when I say “to be safe”, there’s a hierarchy of safety too. Obviously people of colour, disabled people, etc.”
You get the picture.
Why so angry?
Q&A guest Mona Eltahawy is described by her Wikipedia entry as a “Freelance Egyptian-American Journalist and social commentator”. Mona claims that her arms were broken by Egyptian security forces during her coverage and involvement in the 2011 Tarhir square protests. That’s certainly enough to give one a chip on their shoulder. Being assaulted while doing field reporting as a journalist sucks. I should know. It happened to me.
Does that mean that she has the right to advocate, as she does in her book, for the systematic killing of men “for no other reason at all other than for being men”? What were ABC network executives thinking giving this woman a platform without challenging her notions?
Unlike the far-left who threw tantrums and balked at the idea of Blair Cottrell being given a platform on JJJ Hack Live back in 2016, I don’t think that people should automatically be deplatformed for their views. Bad opinions need to be debated. Sunlight being the best disinfectant and all that. Clearly there must be limits to all this, but the thing is: Blair didn’t advocate violence. Mona did.
Here is the full quote from Mona’s upcoming book ‘Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls’ (2019).
Oh, she is advocating violence for political ends? Doesn’t that fit the very definition of terrorism? Yes. Cambridge dictionary defines terrorism as:
Terrorism: “(threats of) violent action for political purposes”. – Cambridge Dictionary
Qanda feature host Fran Kelly can be forgiven for not being a properly impartial moderator. Having had no formal Journalistic training and describing herself as an activist, she clearly doesn’t know any better. In spite of this, Fran Kelly has been fortunate enough to receive a taxpayer salary to host of the ABC’s national radio program ‘Breakfast’ since 2005. To quote from the Sydney Morning Herald:
“Radio is actually Kelly’s second career. She came late to journalism, at 29, and cheerily admits to having had no training, apart from volunteering at the community radio station Triple R. “What I am really am is an activist,””Sydney Morning Herald – ‘Making radio waves’
Are Australian taxpayers getting value for money here?
ABC investigating themselves is unlikely to root out the core problem. The whole organization needs a thorough shake up from top to bottom. The Unshackled have recently featured an article about defunding the ABC here.
We look forward to the results of the ABC investigation into this blunder.