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‘What Is A Woman?’ just passed 177 million views on Twitter. Why did it go viral?
Posted on 06/7/2023 18:45 PM (CNA Daily News - US)
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 7, 2023 / 13:45 pm (CNA).
The one-year-old “What Is a Woman?” documentary has amassed more than 177 million views in less than a week on Twitter. Despite pushback from transgender activists, the documentary has had enormous success since the film was offered on Twitter at the beginning of June. CNA took a look at what the film is about and why it’s amassed so many views recently.
What is the film about?
The documentary, which stars popular culture and political commentator Matt Walsh and is distributed by The Daily Wire, tackles questions related to the transgender movement, specifically delving into the question posed in the title, “What is a woman?”
Walsh interviews a variety of people, including politicians, doctors, a professor, and a therapist, asking them whether they can explain what a woman is. When met with unclear and nonspecific answers, Walsh presses the question further.
At one point, he asks Dr. Patrick Grzanka, a professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Tennessee, to explain the differences between sex and gender. When Walsh presses Grzanka about wanting to know the truth and the reality of whether someone is a man or a woman, the professor expresses that he is uncomfortable.
“I’m really uncomfortable with that language of like ‘getting to the truth,’” Grzanka said during the interview. “It sounds actually deeply transphobic to me and if you keep probing, we’re going to stop the interview.”
During the documentary, Walsh also speaks with women who have been forced to compete with biologically male athletes who identify as women. This includes women who placed behind their transgender competitors in both swimming and track and field and believe wins and better finishes were taken from them.
Why is the film going viral?
The film is a year old and was initially released by The Daily Wire to its paid subscribers on June 1, 2022. To celebrate the one-year anniversary, The Daily Wire made the film free on Twitter for a limited time, which began on June 1, 2023.
“What Is A Woman?” has amassed about 177.2 million views on The Daily Wire’s Twitter post since it was released for free. The film has received a lot of publicity and positive feedback from conservatives but a lot of hostility from transgender activists.
Because the film deals with the highly contentious issue of gender identity and gender ideology, it has gained publicity from both sides of the issue.
The documentary has not received many reviews from movie critics, but it received an 83% approval rating from six movie critics listed on Rotten Tomatoes and an 86% approval rating from more than 10,000 users rating the film.
“Our film has been banned from most platforms,” Walsh said in a Tweet. “Mainstream movie critics refused to even review it. It’s been blacklisted and suppressed and yet still reached a massive audience. But how many more could we have reached without the deck stacked completely against us? It’s no use lamenting these things.”
How did it survive content moderation on Twitter?
Twitter initially entered into a deal with The Daily Wire to help broadcast the documentary but ultimately backed out of the deal and began suppressing the film as soon as it was posted on the social media platform.
When the documentary initially aired on Twitter, it was given a content warning, which flagged the video as “hate speech” and limited its visibility based on accusations that it was transphobic.
Walsh and other members of The Daily Wire’s team sparred with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on Twitter about the restrictions. They also directly appealed to Twitter owner Elon Musk by tweeting at his account.
Musk ultimately intervened and put a stop to the suppression efforts, which included getting rid of the “hate speech” warning. He then tweeted out the documentary, saying “every parent should watch this.” He pinned the tweet for a brief period.
What have Catholics said about it?
Walsh is a practicing Catholic and the film was well received by some Catholic viewers.
CatholicVote, a Catholic political advocacy group, recommended the film for viewers aged 16 and older and suggested that high school students should discuss it with a trusted adult.
“The question ‘What is Woman?’ is a hook — to catch a bigger fish, as it were,” Erika Ahern of CatholicVote wrote on June 2, 2022.
“Yes, it’s one important question that trans ideologues have refused to tackle,” she continued. “(We hear multiple interviewees replying the Walsh with, ‘Why are you asking that question?’) But there are a number of other questions that could be posed. What is a man? What is gender? What is sex? But the central question is much deeper. Fisherman Walsh tackles it even before he lands his first interview: ‘What is truth?’”
Ann Schneible, a freelance journalist writing a review for National Catholic Register, gave the film a B+. She said it is a good starting point for this issue but would not recommend it as a tool for understanding someone with gender dysphoria.
“While it may not be persuasive to anyone who does not generally agree with Walsh, it may still be a valuable starting point for anyone who wants to delve deeper into an issue that is affecting an increasing number of individuals and families,” Schneible wrote. “From this perspective, I would recommend this film.”
Mary Rice Hasson, the director of the Person and Identity Project at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, tweeted out her support for the film and criticism of the initial restrictions.
“Matt Walsh’s documentary has had a powerful impact, sharing the truth on an incredibly important issue,” Hasson said.
Oli London, a man who formerly identified as a gender-fluid trans woman but has since detransitioned and converted to Catholicism, also tweeted about the film and the previous censorship.
“Despite Twitter censoring [Matt Walsh’s] ‘What is a Woman?’ [The Daily Wire’s] documentary this evening and Elon issuing several tweets adding to the confusion he has now tweeted that the censorship will create ‘The Streisand effect,’” London tweeted. “The Streisand effect is an unintended consequence of attempts to hide, remove, or censor information where it instead leads to increased awareness of that information.”
Sachin Jose, a Catholic journalist and social media influencer, encouraged others to step up and discuss this issue.
“Matt Walsh is one the greatest evangelizers in the West and Catholic Church today,” Jose said on Twitter. “He is able to save the lives of thousands of kids. We need priests, bishops, and laypeople who are not afraid to speak the truth.”
California honors anti-Catholic drag group ‘Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’ at state capitol
Posted on 06/7/2023 17:25 PM (CNA Daily News - US)
Washington D.C., Jun 7, 2023 / 12:25 pm (CNA).
Michael Williams, who goes by the name “Sister Roma” and is a member of the San Francisco chapter of an anti-Catholic drag group known as the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” was honored by the California state Legislature on Monday.
Outside the capitol, hundreds of Catholics and other Christians held a prayer vigil, and several members of the California Republican Caucus walked out of the capitol in protest while Williams was honored.
The prayer vigil outside ends as a group of nuns, priests, monks and ordained pastors lead the crowd in reciting the "Lord's Prayer." A few hundred people showed up to protest the #PrideMonth event inside the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/vWsXLNANMF— Dustin Gardiner (@dustingardiner) June 5, 2023
Inside the capitol, Williams received a standing ovation on the assembly floor, and several lawmakers posed for photos with Williams, who was wearing a black gown, heavy white makeup, and a large purple-blue wig.
After Republicans criticized Sister Roma’s invitation to participate at the Capitol’s pride ceremonies, she gets a standing ovation and loudest applause on the Assembly floor. pic.twitter.com/HUTyAwB117— Ashley Zavala (@ZavalaA) June 5, 2023
California Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones issued a statement calling the decision to honor “Sister Roma” at the capitol a “slap in the face to Catholics who cherish their faith and hold it as a cornerstone of their identity.”
“By inviting a prominent leader of this hateful group, Senate Democrats have shown a blatant disregard for the 10 million Catholic Californians in our state,” Jones said. “Were this group to spread hateful messages about Jews, Muslims, Hindus, or any other religion, Senate Democrats would certainly not extend this invitation.”
A national drag group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence uses Catholic religious imagery and themes in protests and sexualized performances to raise awareness and money for LGBTQ+ causes. The performers call themselves nuns and regularly use the images of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and women religious.
A member of the drag group since 1987, Williams is an activist, pornography filmmaker, and one of the most well-known Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
Williams was honored along with other prominent LGBTQ+ figures and was invited by state Sen. Scott Wiener, who is also a well-known LGBTQ+ activist.
Before Williams was honored, the California Senate Republican Caucus sent a letter to the Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins requesting she retract the invitation to “Sister Roma.” Atkins refused, calling the request a “misguided distraction on the first day of Pride month.”
The California Legislature’s decision to honor the drag queen activist comes amid controversy over the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence being honored by the Los Angeles Dodgers at a Major League Baseball game on June 16. The team’s decision to honor the group has been decried by prominent Catholics and Christians, including Dodgers pitcher Blake Treinen, who said it “disenfranchises a large community and promotes hate of Christians and people of faith.”
Pope conscious, alert and ‘joking’ after surgery
Posted on 06/7/2023 09:19 AM ()
The surgeon who operated on Pope Francis on Wednesday afternoon tells journalists the operation went ahead without complications and the Pope is alert and in good spirits.
St. Anthony Mary Gianelli
Posted on 06/7/2023 09:00 AM (CNA - Saint of the Day)
Feast date: Jun 07
Anthony grew up in a poor but pious family in a small farming village in Lombardy, Italy. The owner of his family farm paid for Anthony's seminary education because he was such a promising student. He was very young for ordination and required a special dispensation, however he was ordained in 1812 and served as a parish priest, and eventually founded several religious communities, some of them short-lived.
In 1827, he founded the Missionaries of St. Alphonsus, which lasted until 1856. He also founded the Oblates of Saint Alphonsus in 1828, which lasted only 20 years. The Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden, which he founded in 1829, still continue their ministry in education and among the sick in Europe, Asia and the United States.
He was named bishop of Bobbio, Italy in 1837 and actively restored devotions and instructed the faithful. He was a people’s bishop, visiting with his parishes and organizing two synods. He died after nine years as bishop on June 7, 1846 due to a serious fever and tuberculosis.
He was canonized in 1951.
Pope Francis: Three-hour long surgery completed without complications
Posted on 06/7/2023 08:41 AM ()
The Pope undergoes laparotomy and plastic surgery of the abdominal wall with prostheses early Wednesday afternoon. Matteo Bruni explains that the hospitalization – the Pope’s third at Gemelli Hospital – will last several days.
Flooding threatens tens of thousands in Ukraine
Posted on 06/7/2023 06:21 AM ()
Ukraine says tens of thousands of people are at risk of massive damage or drowning after the collapse of a gigantic dam in a Russian-occupied southern Ukraine. Kyiv has pleaded for international help, saying hundreds of thousands are left without drinking water.
Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Posted on 06/7/2023 05:30 AM (USCCB Daily Readings)
Reading 1 Tb 3:1-11a, 16-17a
Then with sobs I began to pray:
"You are righteous, O Lord,
and all your deeds are just;
All your ways are mercy and truth;
you are the judge of the world.
And now, O Lord, may you be mindful of me,
and look with favor upon me.
Punish me not for my sins,
nor for my inadvertent offenses,
nor for those of my ancestors.
"We sinned against you,
and disobeyed your commandments.
So you handed us over to plundering, exile, and death,
till you made us the talk and reproach of all the nations
among whom you had dispersed us.
"Yes, your judgments are many and true
in dealing with me as my sins
and those of my ancestors deserve.
For we have not kept your commandments,
nor have we trodden the paths of truth before you.
"So now, deal with me as you please,
and command my life breath to be taken from me,
that I may go from the face of the earth into dust.
It is better for me to die than to live,
because I have heard insulting calumnies,
and I am overwhelmed with grief.
"Lord, command me to be delivered from such anguish;
let me go to the everlasting abode;
Lord, refuse me not.
For it is better for me to die
than to endure so much misery in life,
and to hear these insults!"
On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media,
it so happened that Raguel's daughter Sarah
also had to listen to abuse,
from one of her father's maids.
For she had been married to seven husbands,
but the wicked demon Asmodeus killed them off
before they could have intercourse with her,
as it is prescribed for wives.
So the maid said to her:
"You are the one who strangles your husbands!
Look at you!
You have already been married seven times,
but you have had no joy with any one of your husbands.
Why do you beat us? Is it on account of your seven husbands,
Because they are dead?
May we never see a son or daughter of yours!"
The girl was deeply saddened that day,
and she went into an upper chamber of her house,
where she planned to hang herself.
But she reconsidered, saying to herself:
"No! People would level this insult against my father:
'You had only one beloved daughter,
but she hanged herself because of ill fortune!'
And thus would I cause my father in his old age
to go down to the nether world laden with sorrow.
It is far better for me not to hang myself,
but to beg the Lord to have me die,
so that I need no longer live to hear such insults."
At that time, then, she spread out her hands,
and facing the window, poured out her prayer:
"Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God,
and blessed is your holy and honorable name.
Blessed are you in all your works for ever!"
At that very time,
the prayer of these two suppliants
was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God.
So Raphael was sent to heal them both:
to remove the cataracts from Tobit's eyes,
so that he might again see God's sunlight;
and to marry Raguel's daughter Sarah to Tobit's son Tobiah,
and then drive the wicked demon Asmodeus from her.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:2-3, 4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9
In you I trust; let me not be put to shame,
let not my enemies exult over me.
No one who waits for you shall be put to shame;
those shall be put to shame who heedlessly break faith.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Alleluia Jn 11:25a, 26
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord;
whoever believes in me will never die.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 12:18-27
came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying,
"Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone's brother dies, leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers.
The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants.
So the second brother married her and died, leaving no descendants,
and the third likewise.
And the seven left no descendants.
Last of all the woman also died.
At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be?
For all seven had been married to her."
Jesus said to them, "Are you not misled
because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
When they rise from the dead,
they neither marry nor are given in marriage,
but they are like the angels in heaven.
As for the dead being raised,
have you not read in the Book of Moses,
in the passage about the bush, how God told him,
I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob?
He is not God of the dead but of the living.
You are greatly misled."
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
Papal audiences temporarily suspended as messages of good wishes flood in
Posted on 06/7/2023 05:19 AM ()
The Holy See Press Office announces the temporary suspension of Papal audiences, to give the Holy Father time to fully recover from him surgery. Meanwhile, messages of good wishes for a speedy recovery are flooding in.
Cardinal Parolin: We are close to the Pope, praying for quick recovery
Posted on 06/7/2023 04:53 AM ()
In response to journalists' questions regarding the surgery Pope Francis is undergoing Wednesday afternoon, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, says the Pope will be in hospital for "the time necessary for the operation" after which he believes "he will resume activity, even if from a hospital bed". He also speaks about Cardinal Zuppi's Ukraine mission to help ease tensions.
Brazil pledges to end deforestation in Amazon
Posted on 06/7/2023 04:14 AM ()
The president of Brazil lays out measures to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon region by 2030.