A Syrian national wielding a knife attacked women and children on a playground this morning in France. The horrifying video footage quickly sparked outrage online.
The man, who legally resides in France on refugee status, was later apprehended by police but left four children — between the ages of 22 months and 3 years —with life threatening injuries, the New York Post reported.
The shocking 90 second video shows the assailant entering a children’s playground. He runs around wildly brandishing a knife before attacking a child in a stroller as a screaming woman attempts to fight him off. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: New DOJ Policy Proposal Would Limit FBI Infiltration Of Terrorist Groups, Docs Show)
French President Emmanuel Macron swiftly condemned the attack as an act of “absolute cowardice.” He is right of course — a man driven to commit such heinous acts, for whatever motivations, reveals his own weakness by targeting the defenseless rather than the true target of his ire.
Yet the attack also reveals the cowardice of the feeble men standing by while women and children were in danger.
To his credit, one man attempts to intervene. He meekly swings a backpack at the assailant before calling out blindly to the police, who do not appear to be in the vicinity. He continues to trail the attacker from a cautious distance as he attacks the woman and child.
Another man makes no effort at all. At first hiding atop a play structure, he slides down while the attacker is distracted and runs away. He then circles back — not to intervene —but to casually jog by and gawk safely outside the gated perimeter of the playground.
The person filming the attack also makes no attempt to intervene. He hides behind a tree as the assailant exits the playground.
It is hard to imagine this scenario occurring under the watch of generations past. Frenchmen who fought valiantly in the Battle of Dunkirk or sabotaged the Vichy government would never have sat idly by through an incident like this in their civilian life.
They were men who, through culture, training, and natural instincts, understood the moral imperative of taking action. They would have quickly subdued the assailant even if it cost their own life.
In this way, the attack does not just indict the men in the video but the broader state of masculinity in Western society. It is all our faults: we have allowed our institutions and broader culture to embrace the demonization of masculinity and train a generation of young men to suppress their natural instincts.
Since the 1960s, all forms of traditional masculinity have increasingly become viewed as a vice — something harmful to be eradicated.
Modern feminists and broader left-wing social movements actively sought to undermine the masculine building blocks of society — the “patriarchy” as it has now come to be called. (RELATED: ATH: Toxic Femininity Is Costing Republicans Elections)
They emphasized the need to re-cast masculine virtues like courage, assertiveness, and boldness as more akin to the toxic vices of aggressiveness, dominance, and emotional frailty. They encouraged the embrace of feminine virtues like emotional vulnerability, empathy, and nurturing as more authentic masculinity.
We constantly see these feminine traits reinforced across television and news media, from school teachers, elite researchers, and even the halls of government power. Traditional masculinity, on the other hand, is now viewed as anachronistic at best and a “danger to society” at worst.
But masculinity was only ever a danger to the type of society the left wanted to build. (RELATED: ‘The Idea That You Don’t Need Men … Is Crazy’: Rogan Rips So-Called Toxic Masculinity)
New-wave feminists wanted to eradicate all gender roles. They wanted women to have the exact same societal roles as men — biology be damned. In this, they have largely succeeded. Men are no longer viewed, legally or socially, as the default head of the household.
The broader left wanted to eradicate the role of masculinity for similar reasons. Only by undermining the family unit — the primary force of generational continuity in society — could they truly tear down the Christian and capitalist foundations of Western civilization. In the ashes of the old, they have worked toward building their new utopia.
The left has ensured that the masculine traits needed to support and defend a family are not inculcated in new generations. Men are now so insulated that they do not even know how to respond to an emergency like the one that happened today.
Even those who do not actively share the values of the left nevertheless operate within a world where it calls the shots and defines the norms that shape society. When they do react, as in the case of Daniel Penny, the system strikes back.
Thus, the decision not to decisively intervene was not really an active choice on the part of the men in the video. Rather it is the result of being steeped in a social environment so thoroughly hostile to masculinity that you no longer possess the natural instincts to react the way a true man would.
We pray for the children and the families harmed in this unconscionable assault. Yet we also hold out hope for a society that has lost its way.