Many moons ago, when I was doing my A Level English literature course, I became somewhat confused by an amiable lad in my class. What confused me was this view he developed about Author Dennis Potter and the Forest of Dean. I thought nothing of it at first. That was one of the vagaries of English lit courses. A book couldn't just be the story as it was written. They all somehow had to be riddled with metaphors and hidden references. The trouble seemed with this lad that is interest in Potter and The Forest of Dean started to appear everywhere in every book. It got to the point where he and the lecturer began to have a bit of row in class, when the lecturer had suggested his latest Potter / Dean links with the text we were all reading was a bit of leap.
I thought back to this lad when I read that Germaine Greer has decided that women Are in a worse place than ever thanks to the internet.
My own view is that like my old classmate, Greer appears to have a lens fixed through which she views the whole world. Men hate women and women are oppressed, full stop without grey areas. There's nothing else to see here regardless if what anyone else might point out (so in a way I too will be wasting my time). It seems to colour everything about her viewpoint.
Greer's viewpoint I would say is wrong, in that she has failed to take into account that the internet is something of a lawless place. Abuse on the internet aimed at women, is not because they're women. The anonymity of the internet means it just thrives generally. Men will abuse women on there, but men will abuse men, women will abuse men and women will abuse women. Greer hasn't found some hidden secret about the internet, she has just looked at it through her own favourite lens. The porn thing is the same as well. Women are looking at the porn just as much as the men are.
As someone mentioned in the comments section of the article, is a reflection of the modern human condition, not a gender war.
The thing is people like this annoy me because in part they complaining about something they had a hand in. Whether it's the law of un intended consequences I don't know or whether it's another piece of critical theory, I'm also uncertain.
They had a hand in it because as sixties radicals with a left leaning perspective, they started meddling and 'fixing' the culture to achieve their utopia. The problem was as someone else in the article comments section said" pandora gets a little tetchy when others start playing with her box." Their meddling started emphasising the me only culture, self interest was self liberation. Nothing was wrong. They argued and agitated for all these things and advanced their cause. They're aim was to break the status quo of society and culture and bring about all kinds of things and call it advancement. This included all kinds of sexual liberation, even the debauched stuff.
The problem was critical theory. For people who had apparently spent so much time learning about human motivations, they didn't appear to posses enough intelligence to understand the law of diminishing returns and the need to have an ever increasing set of experiences in order to feel the same initial rush. These things were always going to play out the way they have. Individualism of this nature was always going to turn more rampant and widen it's definitions of what we would perceive as acceptable. Same too with the sexual liberation that they advocated They may well have known, but critical theory allowed them to hold many opposing viewpoints without having to answer for them. Trouble is, real life has a habit of setting its own rules and showing clowns that thought this stuff up that they're not the gods they imagined themselves to be.
They are for me represented by an analogy I've used before. They're like the practical joker who shouts "fire" in a crowded cinema and then when people get killed in the stampede they deny they had anything to do with it.