It turns out that something I tweeted last Sunday is now very big news. One of the biggest news items of the week, in fact. This is not according to me — I don’t find it especially newsworthy, to be honest — but rather it’s according to the social media mob, and the news media, and daytime talk shows. The post had me trending for days, with thousands of outraged people screaming various unintelligible insults and telling me to kill myself in various gruesome ways, and so on. It was the subject of a lengthy and angry think piece by NBC News, another one by Rolling Stone, and various other articles by other outlets including the National Review which called me out for “shaming.” It was also discussed during a segment on “The View.”
What makes all of this quite funny, and ironic, is that everyone from the mob, to NBC, to Rolling Stone, to the ladies on “The View” — they all agree that my post was stupid because I shouldn’t care so much about the thing I posted about. In fact, the subject of my post was so irrelevant that they have all decided to spend days telling me how irrelevant it is. This is a rather common phenomenon.
So, let’s back up and tell the whole story. How did I become this week’s super villain? What was the content of this post — this dumb post about a subject that doesn’t matter? Why did it inspire multiple news articles informing us of how little it matters?
Well, it began with a TikTok video published by a woman named Julia Mazur. Julia has a TikTok account where she frequently posts videos about her life as a single and childless 29-year-old woman. She also has a podcast about the same subject, where — NBC tells us — she talks about being “pretty much done” with the societal expectation that she’ll be married and have kids by the age of 30. The podcast is called “Pretty Much Done.” So, this is a woman who talks about this subject quite a lot, and talks about it publicly, which would lead you to the conclusion that she wants people to notice and hear what she’s saying.
Typically if you have a social media account and a podcast dedicated to talking about your lifestyle choices, that’s a good indication that you consider your lifestyle choices to be open for public discussion. If you do not want public discussion about the choices you make in your life, then the smartest strategy would be to refrain from speaking publicly and frequently about your lifestyle, and even hosting a whole podcast on the subject. Granted, this woman’s following was relatively small up until now, but I’ve never heard of a burgeoning TikTok influencer and podcaster who only wants a few thousand people to interact with their content.
The point is, when I saw one of her videos floating around on Twitter, I figured it’s fair game to respond to. If this was a secretly recorded video of Julia venting to her friends in the privacy of her own home — taken and posted without her knowledge — then I certainly would not respond or repost it. I would never want to participate in the invasion of another person’s privacy. But I don’t consider a public response to public comments to be an invasion of privacy.
As for those public comments, here is the video that started all of this ruckus:
Her life doesn’t revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she’s too stupid to realize how depressing this is.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) September 3, 2023
I responded to that by tweeting: “Her life doesn’t revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she’s too stupid to realize how depressing this is.”
Now I will admit the word “stupid” was a little harsh. I don’t think it was a crime against humanity. I don’t think it was worthy of four days of intense national outrage. I don’t think it was newsworthy, but it was a bit harsh. Perhaps “oblivious” would have been a more accurate, certainly more charitable, choice of words. I have been known to use harsh language at times. I will tend to do that when I feel especially passionate about an issue. And I do quite passionately oppose the promotion of childlessness and the idea that we should spend our young adulthood focused on self-centered pursuits and mindless amusements. I very much oppose that idea. I think it leads to despair and societal decay. I think that if a critical mass of people adopts this approach, it eventually brings about the collapse of human civilization. That’s not to say that Julia on TikTok will cause the collapse of civilization, but rather that the idea, the life philosophy, she promotes — if accepted by enough people — will have that effect. Which is why I tend to attack this idea quite vigorously.
This could have been the end of the conversation. It was one tweet about one TikTok video. Not a big deal. But then the outrage mob got to work. They swarmed and screamed and called me a bully and a Nazi and many other things. Many other influencers — including some conservatives — condemned me in no uncertain terms. Random famous people like Mark Cuban jumped onto the dog pile. They said that she’s just a young woman having fun and I should butt out. They said that her choices are none of my business. They blamed me for bringing attention to Julia that, they assumed, she didn’t want. Which, again, is ironic because the whole reason I was trending — and thus why Julia was trending — was because of all of the people outraged at me. If they had all shut up and gone about their day, there wouldn’t have been any of this attention. But then again, shutting up and going about their day is not exactly the MO of the outrage mob.
Next came the media. First, NBC News published their article. This makes, I believe, my third NBC hit piece since July — a respectable pace of one per month, but frankly I think we can pump those numbers up. The article has this headline:
“She was a child-free woman enjoying her Saturday. Then came the culture warriors.”
The article states:
“Julia Mazur was having a relaxing Saturday when she decided to chronicle her day on TikTok. By Sunday, she had become the most recent fodder for the internet’s ongoing culture war around societal expectations for women. Mazur, 29, had posted a 92-second video to her 7,000 TikTok followers, laying out a day in her life as a single, childless woman, planning to take a crack at making the egg dish shakshuka and watch some TV. The next day, the hate started to pour in. ‘All of a sudden on Sunday, I started receiving hateful comments, and then I caught wind that he had posted my TikTok,’ Mazur said. He, in this case, is Matt Walsh, a conservative media provocateur who posted Mazur’s video on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to his more than 2.4 million followers, stating that she is “too stupid to realize how depressing this is.” Other conservative pundits piled on. Some on the left came to her defense.”
I actually didn’t post the video on the platform, someone else did. But we can’t expect accuracy from NBC after all.
We’re then told this:
“Mazur had inadvertently found herself in an ongoing and fervent corner of the culture war that is increasingly playing out online, one where content that directs hate toward women — even against women with relatively small social media presences — has become profitable and popular inside and outside of conservative circles. Walsh and many other right-leaning voices are part of a larger conservative movement that promotes what they consider to be traditional family values. That has included targeting medical gender transition procedures and openly criticizing women who have not married and had children. One version of this ideology has become known as ‘trad wife’ content, where women envision ‘50s-style housewife ideals including subservience to their husbands, which has made the practice controversial.”
I think the word “inadvertent” is doing a lot of work there. She quite “advertently” has created a lot of content talking about being “child free.” This is not a conversation she finds herself in by accident. But the article continues:
“NBC News reviewed hateful comments made on X about Mazur’s appearance and her ability to have children in the future, while Mazur said she also received direct hate and threats. ‘I understand that with social media you’re putting yourself out there to be judged or criticized. But I don’t believe anyone has the right to spread hate, and the way his followers spoke about me and to me was deplorable,’ Mazur said in a phone interview. ‘It definitely gave me empathy for celebrities and influencers who put themselves out there. It painted a new light for how the internet works.’”
Now, a couple of quick things here. I don’t believe I was “spreading hate,” but whatever you want to call it, I do have the right to say what I said, for the record. Second, obviously if anyone is making threats against this woman, that is insane and wrong and grotesque. I will say that I did not see a single person make anything even resembling a threat, and it is interesting that NBC News reviewed the “hateful comments” but didn’t review the alleged threats. Make of that what you will.
From there, the article tells us how Mazur wants people to ignore “societal pressure” and “live the lives they want to live for themselves.” It says that she rejected the “rhetoric” from her “first generation Russian Jewish family” that she should get married and have kids. It ends with this:
“I found myself in those safe, good-on-paper relationships, but I also found myself feeling deeply unhappy and unfulfilled because I felt like I was checking off a box to appease other people. Throughout that process I realized, ‘That’s not the only thing that can make you fulfilled.’ I’m 29 and single and I feel fulfilled by my life and my career, by my friends and family.”
So, she was in good relationships with good men but, she says, she left them because she was “unfulfilled” for unspecified reasons, and now she’s 29 and childless, and focusing on spending her time watching TV shows and so on. What’s more, she says she wants to encourage other people to adopt this same strategy, to, as she says, “live for themselves.”
I must say again that I absolutely reject that, I think it’s terrible advice, it’s a terrible way to live, and I will never tire of fighting back against this despair-inducing philosophy no matter who is promoting it. Because the philosophy is really the point here. This isn’t about some woman on TikTok and that’s not what the Left and the media are concerned about. They aren’t angry at me for being mean to Julia. They’re angry at me for attacking a philosophy — a philosophy of self-centeredness and materialism — that they all personally live by.
This was made clear in the Rolling Stone article about this, titled: “The Right Would Like All Women to be 1950s Housewives, Please.” Apparently, we have moved on from transphobia-for-clicks to shrieking at women for not giving birth.” What follows from there is all the tripe you would expect, we probably don’t need to read through any of it. We also don’t need to listen to Joy Behar’s take on all of this, but we will anyway:
Joy, you don’t have to act like you’ve never heard of me. We all know you secretly listen to my podcast every day, just like I secretly watch “The View” every day, as penance for my sins.
In any case, it’s obvious what’s really going on here. The media and the mob are pretending to “white knight” for a small time TikTok influencer and podcaster who suffered the horrific fate of going viral — the one thing that every influencer and podcaster dreads most of all — but they don’t actually care about her. As I said, they’re angry not that I criticized what Julia said, but that I criticized them. She was expressing a point of view that they all agree with, and live by, and it is that point of view they are passionately defending. It is the point of view that says, “We should live for ourselves, focus on ourselves, and find happiness in our own pleasure and amusement.” It is a point of view that says, ”The highest joy is that which can be found by consuming pop culture content, unencumbered by the demands of family life and parenthood.” This point of view — the one that places “living for yourself” over living for something greater and more enduring than yourself — is the dominant view in our culture.
This is the point that Julia gets wrong most of all. She says that “society” tells her she should be married and have kids by 30. But that is not at all what society says. In fact, the mainstream of society — the most powerful voices and institutions, including corporate media — fully agree with her that young people should “focus on themselves” and have fun and put off marriage and family life. They agree that, even if we find ourselves in a good relationship with a good person, we should leave it anyway in order to give ourselves more time to scroll social media and make Shakshuka.
Between the two of us, if anyone is living in a way that is not approved by society, that is in fact scorned by society, it’s me. I’m 37 with six kids. She’s 29 with none. The powers that be approve of her choices much, much more than they approve of mine. She is already living as society wants her to live — or at least as the forces driving society want her to live. Because those forces do not actually want her, or anyone else, to be happy and fulfilled. But I do want that for her, and for everyone.
Which is why I say, yes, you should get married and have kids. That is what most human beings on this planet are meant to do. It is what we are called to do. It is what we are designed for. To form families, to build homes To fill those homes with love. And live in service to something greater, deeper, and more beautiful than our TVs and our phones and our careers. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, in proper proportion. But there is more to life, or at least there should be. And that’s what I want the Julias of the world to understand.