Last week’s episode of ABC’s Q&A program has been pulled from all of the national broadcaster’s platforms and is being investigated after upwards of 250 complaints were received.
The primary concerns were offensive language and calls for “endorsed violence”.
A feminist writer whose comments sparked an "investigation" by Australia's national broadcaster says she was not inciting violence, and that people are angry because the panel was a "big 'fuck you' to the white patriarchy".https://t.co/8xxbprz0aJ
— BuzzFeed Oz News (@buzzfeedoznews) November 8, 2019
A remark made by Egyptian-American journalist, Mona Eltahawy, about rapists was reportedly considered inflammatory to viewers.
“How many rapists must we kill until men stop raping us?” she asked. The moderator, Fran Kelly, did ask if she was “promoting violence” but has since told The Australian she should have been more specific.
“I needed to challenge the assertion that killing men is the answer to violence against women,” Kelly said. “When the panel didn’t disavow that call, it was my job, and in a fast-paced and furious discussion, I missed that opportunity.”
On Monday Eltahawy told Kelly: “I’m saying violence has been owned by the state, given by the stage, allowed to continue unchecked mostly by men and especially by privileged men. So how long do I have to wait to be safe?”
Indigenous writer Nayuka Gorrie commented that being articulate and polite in the face of oppression only gets you so far.
“We’ve tried for 230-plus years to appeal to the colonisers’ morality which doesn’t seem to exist. I think violence … is OK because if someone is trying to kill you, there’s no amount of, ‘Oh, but I’m really clever.’ You know, ‘I’m really articulate.’ No amount of that is going to save you. So, yeah, let’s burn stuff.”
The #qanda furore is infantile and depressing. It was an honour to sit on that panel with each of those women, and especially to sit beside @NayukaGorrie, who is a rare and brilliant combination of fierceness, tenderness, intelligence and courage. A truly original thinker.
— Jess Hill (@jessradio) November 8, 2019
Eltahawy, in Australia for The Wheeler Centre’s Broadside feminist ideas festival, immediately responded to the ABC’s statement that the program was being reviewed.
When white men whine and complain, investigations are swift: Does the ABC investigate when right wing extremists and fascist panelists upset viewers? Like Steve Bannon or Blair’s Cottrell? I think I know the answer. https://t.co/Ukl0Ma3EoT #qanda
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) November 7, 2019
If my asking, 'How many rapists must we kill before men stop raping us?' scares men, then let them be scared. Too many women and girls live in fear of actual male violence every day. When is this much outrage going to be directed at violence against women? #qanda #Australia https://t.co/sPNj76Gf84
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) November 8, 2019
“I’m obviously not saying women are going to go out there on the streets and kill people,” she said. “Why are these white, male, right-wing commentators so obsessed with someone trying to shake people awake into noticing how horrific these statistics are when it comes to sexual violence and murder? Last year [in Melbourne] a young woman was raped and murdered in a park while walking home. How is this still happening today?”
She would prefer people to direct their rage towards actual instances of violence rather than the scenarios she described as “rhetorical” on the show.
My 2c on #QandA: “My entire focus is on reducing violence, not exacerbating it, (but) nobody was inciting violence — they were expressing frustration, anger, & grief over the pandemic of violence against women, & the ongoing violence from colonisation." https://t.co/I9iC65TIGf
— Jess Hill (@jessradio) November 9, 2019