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She was a childless woman enjoying her Saturday.  Then came the culture warriors.


Julia Mazur was having a relaxing Saturday when she decided to share her day on TikTok. By Sunday, she had become the latest fodder for the internet’s ongoing culture war over societal expectations of women.

Mazur, 29, had posted a 92-second video to her 7,000 followers on TikTok, describing a day in her life as a single, childless woman, planning to try her luck making the shakshuka egg dish and watching TV . The next day, the hate started pouring in.

“All of a sudden on Sunday I started getting hateful comments and then I found out he posted my TikTok,” Mazur said.

This is Matt Walsh, a conservative media provocateur who posted Mazur’s video on Xthe platform formerly known as Twitter, to its more than 2.4 million followers, declaring that it is “too stupid to realize how depressing it is”. Other conservative experts stacked on. Some on left came to his defense. Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, to argue with Stephen Miller, a former adviser to Trump, spoke about it.

Mazur didn’t really want to have much to do with it.

“I deleted TikTok. I didn’t delete my profile, but I deleted the app from my phone because I was starting to feel very overwhelmed,” she said. “My sanity was in the wrong place to read that, and I was scared.”

Mazur has inadvertently found herself in a permanent and fervent corner of the culture war that is increasingly being played out online, a war where content that directs hate against women — even against women with a relatively small presence on social networks – have become profitable and popular inside and outside the country. conservative circles.

Walsh and many other right-wing voices are part of a larger conservative movement promoting what they see as traditional family values. This includes targeting gender-transitional medical procedures and openly criticizing women who are unmarried and childless. One version of this ideology is known as “traditional wife” content, in which women envision 1950s-style housewife ideals, including submission to their husbands, which has made the practice controversial. .

This culture war is now increasingly ensnaring people who may only have a tangential awareness of it. The content of Mazur is not political. She hosts a podcast about dating and relationships called “Pretty Much Done,” which she says refers to people who are beyond the expectation of being married and having children at 30.

NBC News examined hateful comments made about X about Mazur’s appearance and her ability to have children in the future, while Mazur said she also received hate and direct threats.

“I understand that with social media you expose yourself to judgment or criticism. But I don’t believe anyone has the right to spread hate, and the way his followers spoke about me and me was deplorable,” Mazur said in a phone interview. “It definitely gave me empathy for celebrities and influencers coming forward. This shed new light on how the internet works.

After seeing people defend her on X, Mazur reinstalled TikTok and, in a follow-up video, denounced Walsh’s post and the response from some of her followers.

“Some of his followers were saying that I was going to die alone, that I should die and never leave my house, that I should be sexually assaulted, that I am pathetic, that I am a whore and that I was dead behind my eyes .,” Mazur said in the video.

Walsh did not respond to a request for comment.

Mazur said she also received an influx of people who came to support her afterwards and that she hopes her content will resonate with people with similar mindsets and situations, helping them to ” feel less alone.

“I wanted people to be tired of listening to societal pressure and noise and be open to creating the life they want to live for themselves, not because someone else told them. that’s how they should live their lives,” Mazur said.

Growing up in a first-generation Russian Jewish family, Mazur said she heard a lot of talk about “finding a nice husband and having kids.”

But many Americans are now marrying and having children later than in previous decades. The median age at which Americans marry has continued to rise since the 1960s, from 20 for women and 22 for men to 28 for women and 30 for men, according to the Census Bureau. American. The wedding schedule isn’t the only thing that’s been pushed back over the decades. In 2022, the median age for giving birth to a first child in the United States reached 30 for the first time.

“Society has embraced this idea that the ideal of happiness is a traditional marriage, you should get married in your twenties, you should have kids at 30, you should buy a house,” Mazur said.

“I found myself in these safe and good relationships on paper, but I also felt deeply unhappy and unfulfilled because I felt like I was ticking a box to appease others,” she added. “Throughout this process, I realized, ‘It’s not the only thing that can make you flourish.’ I’m 29, single, and feel fulfilled by my life and career, by my friends and family.