So yesterday Steve pointed to some AFR articles on misogyny particularly one by Susan Sheridan – it seems that piece must have been too much for the leader writer who blasts her today.
Dr Sheridan, an adjunct professor in English and women’s studies at Flinders University, argues that Mr Abbott is a misogynist because he inhabits and reflects a culture “with a long tradition of hatred and fear of women”. She claims even women who do not consciously resist our modern society’s long tradition of sexism may speak and act in ways that are misogynist. This type of feminist fundamentalism bears similarities to other fundamentalist ideologies including Marxism, green environmentalism and religious fanaticism, all of which draw on notions of oppression and hierarchical power structures that jar with the reality of our modern pluralist culture.
Dr Sheridan’s suggestion that even women can unconsciously act and speak in a misogynist manner harks back to the Marxist idea of “false consciousness”, whereby even the consuming middle classes don’t understand they are being oppressed. The proletariat may have been “oppressed” in the early industrial revolution that prompted Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to publish The Communist Manifesto in 1848. Rather than revolting, however, the working class has long ago mostly morphed into a prosperous middle class that itself increasingly owns the means of production. As Paul Keating notes, Labor has failed to embrace the aspirational class that its own economic reforms encouraged in the 1980s.