By David Futrelle
The last time we heard from Australian antifeminist sex therapist blabbermouth Bettina Arndt she was involved in a baffling, if short-lived, feud with A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam over the location of an upcoming Men’s Rights conference she’s scheduled to speak at.
Now she’s in the news again for an equally baffling but far more egregious reason: she’s been awarded one of Australia’s top honors for her alleged contribution “to gender equity through advocacy for men.” Arndt is now a Member of the Order of Australia, which as the Guardian points out, is “the third-highest rank under Australia’s civic honours system.”
Trouble is, Arndt’s alleged service on behalf of men has consisted mainly of slagging on women, defending pedophiles, and teaming up with SPLC-designated hate group A Voice for Men.
Arndt is perhaps most notorious for the pedophile thing. Here’s how the Guardian summed it up:
In 2018, Arndt was criticised by sex abuse survivors for conducting a 17-minute interview with convicted paedophile Nicolaas Bester …
Bester had been jailed for grooming and repeatedly raping his 15-year-old student when he was a 58-year-old teacher in Tasmania. He was convicted of possessing 28 pieces of child pornography and committing up to 30 sexual assaults.
On an internet forum in 2015, after being released from prison, Bester wrote that his crime was “awesome”. The paedophile was then convicted a second time as a result, and for sharing further child exploitation material.
“The majority of men in Australia envy me,” Bester wrote in 2015. “I was 59, she was 15 going on 25 … It was awesome.”
In 2017, Arndt interviewed Bester following both convictions, in a YouTube video titled “Feminists persecute disgraced teacher”.
“Over the years I’ve talked to many male teachers about sexually provocative behaviour from female students,” Arndt said. … “[T]he teachers are … really vulnerable because they can easily be subject to false accusations if they reject or offend the young woman in question.”
Never mind that the accusations against Bester weren’t false; he literally bragged about what he’d done.
She added that young women needed to “behave sensibly and not exploit their seductive power to ruin the lives of men”.
In response to Bester’s comments that his crime was “awesome”, Arndt laughed and said it was “pretty stupid” but that “I can imagine how easily this happens”.
This is a mighty strange form of service to “gender equity.” (Arndt later offered a weak apology to “those I have offended by the relaxed tone of the interview.”)
But Arndt doesn’t just have terrible opinions on the subject of pedophile teachers. She has terrible opinions on a whole host of other issues as well.
Like the “huge feminist domestic violence industry” that she claims is ginning up false accusations against men and hiding abuse against men.
Like #MeToo, which she says is a “nasty witch hunt” and a “joke.”
She’s a bit obsessed with false rape accusations, which she sees as something of an epidemic. Last year she toured college campuses decrying what she calls the “rape crisis scare campaign” and the “illegal campus kangaroo courts” set up to deal with accusations of rape.
Despite her endless handwringing about female “false accusers” targeting men, she’s not above making dubious accusations herself — in her case, against women — like her recent “joking” suggestion that Prince Harry’s decision to bow out of most royal duties might have been the result of abusive manipulation by new wife Meghan Markle.
You can find many more examples in this Twitter thread by @Vic_Rollison, from which I got the above screenshots. Or you could just go to Arndt’s own Twitter page, where she provides fresh bad takes on an ongoing basis, including mini-rants against the feminists who have objected to her award.
My own brief stroll through her Twitter history uncovered tweets lamenting “women’s deceitful ways,” attacking trans men, and claiming that sexual abuse “vigilantism” may soon lead all men to avoid working with children.
She also posted this incoherent and reality-challenged GamerGate-ish babble:
It’s no wonder that feminists and others who actually do care about gender equality consider her winning this award a travesty, and why some are calling for the award to be rescinded.
That’s what happens when you give one of the worst Australians an award meant to go to the best.
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