Where has all this hatred for women come from of late?
…because I’m at a total loss.
The past few days have been really disturbing – whether the vitriol coming from ordinary people over social media, to those in the public eye who have made statements that have astounded many of their followers. These include the likes of Naomi Klein (of “No Logo” and “Shock Doctrine” fame), MP George Galloway, former UK ambassador & civil servant Craig Murray, and film maker Michael Moore on one particular high profile case. You also have the poisonous atmosphere on the other side of the Atlantic with the US presidential race hotting up. This is just frightening - i.e. that such views can be so close to the mainstream. That Obama has to stand up and defend such basic rights (because they are being attacked and thus need to be defended) that I thought everyone was able to take for granted, speaks volumes. (That’s a criticism of the opposition, not Obama).
Up in Scotland, you have clerics ‘snubbing’ the Scottish Government over gay marriage. As one of Puffles’ followers said, you can’t play the ‘oppressed minority’ card while claiming to speak for the majority.
The vitriol within Left circles
It has been – and still is huge. I for one didn’t see any of this coming. I can’t recall a single issue where so many ‘mainstream’ figures on the left seemed so divided. Not even the Iraq war (which split Labour) had that level of vitriol – perhaps reflecting the level of control one faction within the party had at the time.
The intensity of some of the exchanges I have seen has been immense. A number of people have been astonished at the comments those, both high profile and ordinary person, have made on what are effectively human rights issues: The right to be protected from violence and the right to justice. For me, the defining blogpost on the legal issues is this one from Peter – here.
The fallout – impact on future campaigns?
It’s a serious question because women’s rights are core values (if not the number one issue) for many activists. With the recent exchanges splitting the Left – and it seems to be predominantly the Left in terms of debate on the UK side of the pond – what will this mean for existing groups of activists? This is something that has gone beyond factional splits and one that is almost going mainstream because of the media coverage it is getting. A couple of people raised the issue of ‘trust’ within activist circles – something that is essential. What will the impact of all of this be on those bonds? Strained to say the least? Will those that have taken a stand on one side or another find themselves heckled at future gatherings? Will their presence in future campaigns even put off some of the very people that they would otherwise want to attract? Or as @MediocreDave said to Puffles, would such a split within activist circles be such a bad thing?
I don’t know how the whole thing will conclude. I don’t know how many people will stick to their point of argument at the time or say that they were unaware of the full facts at the time. (Who was it who said: “When the facts change, so do my opinions.”???) What I currently feel is that we’ve all been given a stark reminder of just how far society has to go on the issue of women’s rights – as the EverydaySexism project is picking up.