Monday, November 17, 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Blurred Lines: The Same Old Battle Of The Sexes (in which only one side turns up)

Germaine Greer has claimed that women are worse off than ever because of the proliferation of online pornography and the torrent of abuse they have to endure on social media such as Twitter.

The Australian academic delivers her damning verdict in a BBC TV documentary - Blurred Lines: The New Battle Of The Sexes - which looks at the threats of rape and violence directed towards women online as well as the ‘objectification’ of women in violent computer games and sexually explicit pop videos.

Greer, 75, tells presenter Kirsty Wark: ‘Things have got a lot worse for women since I wrote The Female Eunuch.’

So far from being a radical new discourse on sexual politics as the name suggests, this latest effort from the same old cabal of BBC feminists promises to be a re-hashing of the same old issues and the same old whinging. Of course, the fact that I feel this way makes me a misogynist, no doubt.

It would be better entitled "What old-school feminists dislike about the internet", as it is a talking-head show in which geriatric feminists sit around moaning about the fact that people use the internet to post things they disapprove of.

It is difficult to know where to start in answering Greer's charges, as they are wrong on so many levels, and so many ideas occur at once.

Firstly, her claim that women are worse off now than ever before is ludicrous. Women - let's face it, we're talking about Western, middle-class women here - have never had it so good. They are the most privileged creatures ever to walk the face of the earth. They have record life-expectancy, their health is better than ever and they live longer than men. They are better educated than before, with more women than men graduating from college. They live in a time of political and military stability, and suffer a very low risk of violence. They have more life opportunities than anyone else in history. They can choose whether to have children or not, how many to have, and when to have them; they can choose the degree of the father's involvement with the children, while milking the father and the government for money; they can choose whether or not to work outside the home, part-time, full-time or not at all, all the while living off the government and a succession of men. Men do not enjoy those opportunities. For men, the only option in life is to work or face complete social exclusion.

The thing which really springs to mind is the lack of coverage of men's issues on a show which calls itself 'The New Battle of the Sexes'. Since the golden age of feminism in the 1970s and 1980s, the men's movement has been doing all the running in terms of analysis and cultural criticism. Fresh perspectives on feminism and sexual politics have been offered by everyone from pioneers like Neil Lyndon and Warren Farrell in the early days, by numerous dissident feminists such as Erin Pizzey, Christina Hoff Sommers and Daphne Patai, up to the present-day, highly active blogosphere featuring such notables as Angry Harry, and the on-off protest movements of people like F4J. None of these developments appear to have entered into the thinking of the BBC feminists.

There is nothing about the forcible separation of men from their children following their involuntary divorce from an unfaithful woman, and the ensuing years of financial slavery and penury. There is nothing about domestic violence and child abuse committed by women. There is nothing about false accusations of rape landing innocent men in prison. There is nothing about false accusations of child abuse and domestic violence being used as weapons in the divorce courts in order to secure a better settlement for a vindictive woman, as the behest of bent lawyers and officials. Once Greer and Wark start to cover some of these issues I will take them a lot more seriously.

I am also interested to note that Greer appears to be railing against pornography, when she herself appeared in a pornographic magazine in her youth, and for a time was editor of the sex magazine 'Suck'. Pornography seems to be all right as long as Germaine Greer is doing it.

As for online insults, I have had to suffer these myself on this blog, especially from feminists, but no-one has offered me a TV show to whinge about it. Such abusive behaviour is largely a product of the general coarsening of British society which has taken place since 1945, mostly as a result of the political Left, and its catastrophic anti-education, anti-family, anti-patriotic policies of Welfare dependency, denial of responsibility and militant selfishness. In other words, Greer's generation of 1968 cool kids, with its contempt for established social values, is largely responsible for the very problem that Greer is now complaining about.

The thing which Greer and friends may not realise is that the internet is just another public place, but with the added quality that people can remain anonymous or hide behind false identities. This gives people the opportunity to be rude if they wish to. But here is an even more important point to grasp. The government cannot protect you against bad social interactions, and nor should it try. You have to manage your own social interactions. I wonder if Greer and friends will be advocating government censorship of the internet as a solution to the problem. It would be consistent with the rest of her Communist-era political outlook.

So in short, far from being a New Battle of the Sexes, the latest BBC effort promises to be the same old tired left-wing rubbish, re-heated for a gullible new audience.