Watching the media and social media after a terrorist attack is a rather strange position to be in, on the one hand you know what to expect but on the other you are often still left surprised by it all, people make fools of themselvesit can’t be helped sometimes but this time around it all seems a bit ridiculous.
At this point it is expected, the politicans and the media will talk about “The bravery of the people of Manchester,” a BBC anchor can be heard saying things like “Europe is getting used to attacks such as Manchester” and newpaper companies writing articles like “There’s only one way Britain should respond to attacks such as Manchester, that is by carrying on as before.” There’s this British stiff upper lip attitude that’s totally hypocritical and obscene, pictures of a milkman carrying on with his service in a blitzed out London is being shared, posts stating why you always want a British soldier on your side in a war, images showing how resilient the British are, people talking about how we just carry on and keep doing what we do, “you can’t bring us down” the implied message.
We let’s be honest, it’s all twaddle!
While Theresa May calling the people of Manchester brave is expected and necessary as it aims to let the people of Manchester know that she and the powers that be are thinking of them and are horrified by what has happened. But At the very same time she does so from a very safe and well protected ivory tower; free from any imminent danger that comes our way. The point can be made that Parliament has been the target for such attacks too, the last attack in London it was politicians that were the target and while it’s obvious that they do not remain free from any imminent danger, they are in a lot safer position than your average member of the public; it was after all a consistent police presence in London around Parliament that stopped the attack becoming a success. Naturally people feel some anger at her words or any words of any policitian or world leader for that matter because it is normal every day people that are being used as colateral.
Nevertheless the MP has deployed 3000 army servicemen onto the street for fear of further attack, somewhat a comfort blanket for the people of the UK but something that is necessary with the amount of attempts made on the country and Europe in general over this last year.
The BBC anchor who declared that Europe is getting used to these types of attacks is quite frankly a moron, this is not the first time this kind of statement has been made, London mayor Sadiq Khan was quoted as saying after a bomb explosion in New York that “Terrorist attacks are part and parcel of living in a big city” and the new French president Emmanuel Macron said after the Champs Élysées attack that “This threat, this imponderable problem, is part of our daily lives for the years to come“. In defence of Sadiq Khan he didn’t specifically say those words, it was instead an interpretation, the conclusion of his words and a headline used by the Evening Standard, his actual words were “It is a reality I’m afraid that London, New York, other major cities around the world have got to be prepared for these sort of things.” It’s not that any of these statements made are wrong, major cities ARE increasingly the target of attacks by extremists, but it does however have a dismissive tone; the last thing anyone want to hear after such an attack is to expect more in the future and that you will have to learn to live with it. No major city should accept such a statement or such a prospect for the future.
The feminist media were also out in force to link the attack to misogyny, Slate’s article “The bombing at a Manchester Ariana Grande show was an attack on girls and women” tried to focus on the fact the majority of the audience were female and called it an attack on girls and girlhood; describing how she’s been attacked for her sexuality in the past . Salon’s “Manchester was an attack on girls” talks about how difficult it is being a girl in a world where they are feared and hated and how the escapism of pop music is a short term freedom from this. The Independent has been posting its more risque articles to their opinions section in what can only be an attempt to avoid responsibility in the face of any backlash or complaints; such articles as “It’s not muslims or people with mental health problems who are most likely to kill you in a terrorist attack – it’s men,” an article that aims to shift the conversation from islamic extremism to “toxic masculinity” and “Make no mistake about it: the Manchester attack had everything to do with young women” which is tamer than the others as it focuses on islamic extremists and their problems with women but still somewhat diverts the conversation.
There are some snipets of truth in these articles, men are more likely to be involved in violent crime…or any crime for that matter, its a serious problem that hardly gets a look in at all but in this instance it isn’t concern for the male gender that’s being shown, it’s actually a condemnation of men and their “toxic masculinity.” Don’t get me wrong there ARE interesting points to be made but they often act as a distraction to the real problems and are done so in a rather obscene manner, you can draw focus on men and misogyny for such actions and you wouldn’t technically be wrong but they would only be an afterthought to the overbearing presence of an islamist idealogy, also it’s not something you can really generalise as it’s a very specific type of crime where there’s not much wriggle room for such macro interpretations and conclusions, whether you want to or not you have to ask yourself which group of men it is that are blowing themselves up and members of the public.
But if you insist as many do then there are still a number of questions that need answering, if it is misogyny that is causing such horrendous acts then is every example of misogyny responsible and are we to put every example of misogyny into the same category as a man who blew up women and children at a pop concert? is using derogatory terms a slippery slope towards hyjacking planes and gunning down members of the public? Okay so maybe it isn’t all examples of misogyny after all but even in the more severe cases of misogyny are motives the same to those of a suicide bomber?
Whilst mulching about on Facebook i saw a great point made in a group about the subject…
We can forgive the typo as the point was made brilliantly and it’s absolutely true, any focus on masculinity in feminist media is always of a negative nature, never would there be time devoted to for praise or admiration.
Speaking of social media, the countless messages promoting defiance and perseverance “The British do it best,” these positive messages that say we won’t be beaten and won’t take it lying down have been circulating heavily over the last few days, Stefan Molyneux said it best in reply to the Independent’s article was published saying the British should be carrying on as before, he said;
The real question is who are these sort of messages really benefitting? It certainly isn’t benefitting the victims and their families, it isn’t benefitting the people of Manchester who probably feel more unsafe than they’ve ever felt in their lives. Is it all for the benefit of feeling that there’s some solidarity amongst British people? Most certainly, it’s not that I don’t think it’s a nice sentiment, it is but it’s more due to the fact that it fails to address actual issues causing these attacks to happen and fails to draw up any real conclusions, because that’s what we all really want. If it’s not benefitting the peopleinvolved then who is it benefitting and what is the point of it?
People will carry on anyway, they have to, but its not because the newpapers or the internet have told them to. Being told we should carry on as before is rather patronising, why should we? Why should we just accept that this horrific incident has happened and then carry on as normal, why shouldn’t we talk about what could and should have been done and what needs to be done in the future to prevent further attacks like it?
What’s even more fustrating is the suspect was already known to law enforcement, had been flagged up 5 times for his extremist views and was to a degree being monitored, some say that hindsight is a wonderful thing but in this case it’s a complete and utter tragedy.
The kind of people who tell you to keep going in such a way are more often than not doing it for their own benefit or taking the opportunity during a period of heightened emotions to say “we are in this together,” to rally the community. This doesn’t make them bad people, they are generally well meaning although somewhat misguided in their grief and assumptions of others, these sort of people are probably as panicked if not more so than everybody else.
As well as the usual ‘pray for’ style profile pictures I’ve seen a lovely dose of ‘keep calm and carry on’ rhetoric going around with old photos of Brits during the war when the Germans were reigning hell fire down on us. The difference between the two situations is we aren’t in a position anywhere near to that which Britain was in during that period, for them it couldn’t get any worse, it had already stretched them thin and they had no other choice but to try carry on to the best of their ability. People did carry on but somewhat in denial of the catastrophes going on around them, it could have been an act of self preservation or it could have been a certain gratitude from making it through another night and day of the bombings, whatever it was it certainly would have merged the boundaries of extreme defiance and denial, bordering on mental illness.
Maybe some are choosing to adopt that same attitude because they think it’s comparable, maybe it does feel like the blitz to them, a true projection of where their minds really are despite the blitz being considerably more severe. There has been a year of continuous terrorist attacks in Europe after all and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve any time soon, it looks like they might even become more frequent.
With the right resources and the right attitude towards extremism, this can be preventable in the future, certainly more so than they have been.
The misinterpretation of history like this is laughable, with World War 2 the most common rhetoric is tales of how britain persevered and wouldn’t be defeated, the elated happiness of the people once it was all over and the positive and determined speeches of Prime Minister Winston Churchill that altogether paints a somewhat positive light of the seven years the country faced the Nazi’s. The truth is once you take off the rose tinted glasses you soon get a completely different story.
Finally we have the usual suspects, the back and forths online and the opinions of others, obviously there are people who pointed the finger at islam and obviously there are those who disagreed with them, called them islamophobic and called them racist or told them that they have an agenda and shouldn’t politicise the death of little girls, yes readers, when the left does the moral high ground they really milks it out of thin air.
The problem is that whether they agree or not it is about islam. The fact is fanatical ideas have gone on within islam for a long time and there are ideas within this religion and its holy book that help perpetuate this, ideas that men have took on, believed with all their hearts and used as justification to shoot down, blow up and run over a bunch of innocent civilians.
To tell someone that they have a political agenda is to be in total denial about what suicide bombing really is and the reasonings behind such an act, it was already political, the islamist idealogy made it so, a person doesn’t blow themselves up just because they feel like it, to ignore this fact because people have died really shows how fragile and pathetic some people really are.
The term islamophobic has always been a rather odd one, we don’t give any other religion the same precedent to be excused from criticism or insult, even “antisemitism” refers to a race/ethnic group not a religion, we certainly would never be granted the pleasure of using such a term for Christianity. The increasingly broad has come to represent race as well as religion, it neither separates from the belief nor the believer, an all encompassing word that covers multiple things and doesn’t warrant any authority, it’s basically meaningless, like someone screaming blasphemy.
For some reason people have bought into it, they protect people (sometimes wrongfully) from ever having any valid criticism, not because they believe criticising religious beliefs is wrong; the left have no problem criticising and ridiculing Christianity for example so it isn’t that, its more to do with race and ethnicity, the majority of muslims do have brown skin and racism is unacceptable, i don’t dispute that at all but no one’s skin colour should be used as a reason not to cast judgement and criticism on any religion. After 9/11 there was a rather cautious attitude towards muslims so people have been rather uppity about any criticism of islam since then, equating racism and anti islamic rhetoric as the same thing.
The fact of the matter is silencing any criticism is the wrong approach, no belief should ever be beyond criticism, no one should have to worry about offending moderates, a belief that has you shackled to the idea of an invisible sky daddy is one that needs to be disproven, it would be a great disservice not to. To me a belief that makes men commit such atrocities is a belief not worth believing in and needs it’s flaws criticised.
So as the conversation about islamic extremism returns to our media after such an event, so does the same old rhetoric on social media, the real question we should be asking is how we’ve come to live in a society where we can’t even take our children to see their favourite popstar at the local arena for fear of them being decapitated by extremists?
This certainly is not a position we hoped to be in or is it an existence we worked for but its one we’ve found ourselves in, what we must know now is what is going to be done about it?