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What happened in 2012 - The Ex-Communicator

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January 6th, 2013

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09:56 am - What happened in 2012
I was just thinking that the biggest change I saw in 2012 is a kind of waking up about misogyny and sexual exploitation. Up until recently you just could not say that something (say a joke) was sexist or misogynist without being jeered at just for saying it. Suddenly it is something you can at least say sexism is bad in general conversation, even if people disagree with you. And I think - am I being optimistic - that some of the strategies misogynists use to shut down discussion are being recognised and named.

I have seen a similar change happen in my lifetime. Sometime about 1978 our whole culture woke up to racism in some way. What was acceptable in humour and drama just changed. I don't mean it suddenly all became lovely and harmonious and we all lived happily ever after but making 'Irish jokes' or 'Paki jokes' ceased to be respectable and normal almost overnight. Including one or two non-white faces in drama became expected (Blakes 7 is an example).

Also in the late 70s sexual exploitation of children became something that could be discussed. Actually, now I think about it, Blakes 7 is an example again. Again, a change in what was counted as 'funny' was a big part of it.

There have been serious issues raised in India and in the West about rape culture this year. I think an improvement can happen because it has happened before. That change in what can and can't be spoken, so that it is OK to complain, and not OK to condone.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2013 12:33 pm (UTC)
You make good points. It's rather cheering.
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2013 02:09 pm (UTC)
On the downside I think attitudes to the poor and disabled are still unexamined
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2013 03:22 pm (UTC)
Not just unexamined, but also manipulated into being perceived as scapegoats for the current economic problems.
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2013 01:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's like watching the tide creep up the beach: each individual wave recedes, but the next one comes a little higher. So too, we may hope, with understanding and the possibilities of discourse!
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2013 02:11 pm (UTC)
There is tide in the affairs of men that taken on the flood leads on to... well, some small change for the better I hope
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen that here yet, going by some of the jokes in my previous office, but that's very encouraging. I always thought we'd be the last to achieve respect and equality because sexism goes across so many cultural borders.
[User Picture]
Date:January 14th, 2013 01:40 am (UTC)
You are being optimistic! :D

But no, seriously. I agree with you. I think a lot of it may be the existence of the internet for a certain number of years, facilitating women having conversations about rape culture.

I don't know if that's true but either way: I wonder what the/a major contributory factor was in the Seventies regarding racism. Maybe more diversity of representation on TV after it had existed for a certain number of years? Or maybe that's a chicken/egg situation.

Big changes in a culture sometimes happen fast. Some people here think a major improvement in the whole Irish nation's self-esteem happened due to one interval dance at freaking Eurovision. :) And maybe they're right.

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