Basmah Qazi


"Shame on you": Sam Armytage and Nat Barr cop criticism over one-sided Sunrise segment

"Shame on you": Sam Armytage and Nat Barr cop criticism over one-sided Sunrise segment

Sunrise hosts Samantha Armytage and Natalie Barr have been slammed by viewers after Tuesday's episode claimed that the #MeToo movement is starting to get out of hand.

The breakfast program featured a segment with sex therapist and author Bettina Arndt who appeared on the show to talk about her new book #MenToo.

The discussion was considered to be one-sided by viewers at home, as Armytage said that the men in her life were scared due to the women’s empowerment movement that focuses on sexual harassment.

Arndt suggested that men’s lives have been affected by the initiative and the feminist movement hopes to destroy the livelihood of the opposite sex.

Armytage and Barr did not dispute those claims at any point during the segment, with those watching saying they expected the questions to be tougher than they were.

“The #MeToo movement was meant originally to empower women and give some women the confidence to call out sexism. Has it been derailed a little?” Armytage asked.

Armytage continued, saying: “I know a lot of the men I know and love are quite scared at the moment.”

The statement sparked outrage, as those watching took to social media to voice their frustrations saying “shame on you” to Sunrise.

“I can’t even watch the rest of this,” said one woman.

“Women aren’t destroying men, and not over nothing. Sexual innuendos are not acceptable, how hard is it to understand? Women will continue calling it out full stop.”

One male viewer wrote: “So, Bettina Arndt getting airtime on @sunriseon7 to promote her #MenToo book on a platform of a ‘fake #rape crisis’ in #Australia just went unchallenged.”

But despite the backlash, there were a few who sided with Arndt after Sunrise posted the question “Do you agree that we now live in a male bashing society?” to their social media platforms.

“Totally agree. We hear all about the violence against women, but rarely about the violence against men. I am not condoning violence of any kind, but it goes both ways,” wrote one man on Facebook.

Another user thanked Arndt and said: “The movement definitely is important, but people have taken things too far. All men are automatically perceived as bad and untrustworthy. Kind (of) hurts us genuinely nice men. Equality for ALL.”

According to Arndt, #MeToo is an opportunity for women to falsely accuse men of sexual assault.

She gave an example of a Canadian politician who was upset when during a photo opportunity with two male colleagues, one of them said, “This wasn’t the sort of threesome I had in mind.”

“This is just madness, this stuff,” said Arndt.

“What started off as a really important issue has absolutely been derailed and given women the right to behave extremely badly and destroy men who have done something to upset them at any point.

“It’s gone too far. Most people would agree with that.”

Arndt said feminism is now an extreme movement.

“Feminism started off about equality, about promoting men and women having an equal playing field – now it’s all about rules and regulations to advantage women at the expense of men,” she said.

Arndt has been the subject of public scrutiny for her controversial views. She recently conducted a sympathetic interview with convicted sex offender, Nicolaas Bester.

Bester was charged for repeatedly raping his 15-year-old student in 2011. In 2015 he was caught posting child exploitation content on an online forum, where he described the sexual abuse as “awesome”.

“Judging from the emails and tweets that I have received, the majority of men in Australia envy me. I was 59. She was 15 going on 25,” he wrote at the time. “It was awesome.”

Arndt came under fire for finding the comments funny, as she said during the interview: “You did something else pretty stupid. I can imagine how easily this happens.”

Arndt defended her actions by saying that the footage had been “carefully selected [by media] to damage my reputation".