PODCAST: Orlando mass shooting fueled by anti-gay bigotry, unbridled masculinity, and misogyny

Victims of Orlando mass shooting at Pulse nightclub.
Victims of Orlando mass shooting at Pulse nightclub.

Early Sunday morning, a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 more in an attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Many have speculated about the motivations of the shooter, Omar Mateen, though most acknowledge the incident as a targeted attack on the gay and lesbian community. In today’s supposedly liberal society, why does anti-gay and lesbian bigotry still exist? What needs to be done to combat these kinds of attacks?

In this episode I speak with Julie Bindel, radical lesbian feminist, journalist, anti-violence activist, and the author of Straight Expectations: What Does It Mean to Be Gay Today about these questions and more.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Lesley Semmens

    Spot on Julie!!

  • NeuralNet

    “In today’s supposedly liberal society, why does anti-gay and lesbian bigotry still exist? What needs to be done to combat these kinds of attacks?”

    There is nothing liberal about Muslim extremism.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Way to listen to the podcast before commenting, brah.

      • NeuralNet

        The guy pledged allegiance to ISIS before attacking. They tend to throw gay people off the rooftops. Is there any doubt about the motivation?

        The speaker in the podcast says that the cause of the violence was misogyny… did she miss the fact that it was almost exclusively men, and not women, who were victims here?

        • Meghan Murphy

          Bindel also names religion as a problem.

        • OldPolarBear

          Like Meghan said above, you should listen to the podcast before commenting. Bindel very clearly and eloquently made the connection between misogyny and hatred of gay men and male homosexuality. Gay men are not “proper men” to a misogynist, being that they do not have as their primary interest keeping women under control (unfortunately, lots of gay men do express a lot of misogyny, but usually not at the level of violent rage).

          • Sara Marie

            Yes, Bindel is quite clear that the root cause of “homophobia” (not a term she is fond of) is misogyny.

      • Rwingcannon

        Meg there’s something serious I want tot all t o you about, so serious it’s keeping me from sleeping. Do you believe that if someone said “It’s clear that (Insert name of racial or ethnic group here) cannot be trusted, so there should be a curfew for them & segregated buses & trains are for them”, the statement would be considered racist & spark an uproar? If yes, then why is it not sexist to say the same about men instead of a racial or ethnic group? Please answer, I won’t stop asking until you do.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Get used to the wee hours because you’re blocked now.

        • Sara Marie

          That analogy does not stand up. There is no racial or ethnic group that is doing to *half the population* what men are doing to women. Your statement leaves out the *context* such a proposal might be undertaken in. And it leaves out the fact that there are times and places where women *have* had curfews enforced on them, because of male violence, such as when Jack the Ripper was terrorizing women, all women in West Yorkshire were told to stay inside after a certain time. Of course, women weren’t the ones murdering; women were the victims.

          It’s become apparent from your comments here that your neither well-informed nor much of a thinker. If you want to know what feminists think, you could try, say, reading much more before taking up our time with nonsensical questions that have easy answers.

          Can’t say you’ll be missed.

  • Melissa Cutler

    Thank you for this, Julie and Meghan. After listening to the podcast, I happened upon a thoughtfully written article online at Rolling Stone that connects toxic masculinity, domestic violence, and mass shootings. One quote that resonated with me: “it’s time to correlate the known risk factors for intimate partner killing, determined in what is known as a lethality assessment, to other factors that might help predict who will engage in acts of mass shooting and killing.”

    I wonder if such a lethality assessment applied more broadly beyond domestic abuse would be a helpful tool. It’s also telling–chillingly so–how formulaic the signs of radicalized masculinity are.


  • Thistle Pettersen

    How do I listen to the podcast? Do I have to be a member or something? Haven’t had this trouble before in finding it…but I am tonight.