I’m back. I have no idea how often I will get to post, though. Anyway, I hope some of you have missed my blogs.
As commented on previously, there appears to be a rather worrying backlash forming against homosexual rights and feminist movements. As in the 1980s, the feminist ‘sex wars’ suffered from the effects of a Thatcher/Regan moralist backlash, largely against the 1960s progress civil/human right campaigning groups made. Likewise, in the aftermath of a 2008 recession, the neoliberal economics and moralist blending is being reinforced, arguably with more venom.
Central to the backlash is the ideological vendetta of stigmatising groups, especially those falling outside what is defined as a ‘natural’, ‘normal’, heteronormative relationship, helping deflect attention from the root cause of societal problems. Instead of considering the effects of cutting social services, social security, jobs and general wellbeing for the majority of people, the government blames progressive, humanist practices as the source of ‘evil’ – arguing they are threatening the very fabrics of our society.
Consider Iain Duncan Smith’s and Centre for Social Justice’s recent analysis of the government’s progress in promoting their ‘ideal’ family, rating it as a 2 out of 10. There are so many problems with this ‘assessment’. For one, ‘family’ is defined through a narrow, primarily ‘nuclear’ prism. This is also true for ‘marriage’. This is why I take issues with recent predominant campaigns for gay marriage; attempting to embed and reinforce what I see as an oppressive institution, with a history of classism, sexism, homophobia and moralistic constructions.
However, in contrast to family breakdown, the CSJ has given the coalition an 8 out of 10 for ‘dealing’ with welfare dependency. Yes, if you call crippling people financially, scapegoating the vulnerable whilst ignoring the huge amounts of fraud and evasion done by those at the top, a success. Disabled people are being particularly attacked, but again, in a classic case of deflection – the government utilises false, misleading statistics to create scare stories of ‘fraud’ – whilst championing the biggest fraudsters of all, the Royal Family. Related clampdown on alcohol and drug addiction benefits will only make the situation worse, most likely fueling crime – again a testament to failing to understand the nature and source of the phenomena; as Chomsky argues, the so-called war on drugs is really a war on the oppressed.
Cause and effect is confused. The reasons for why families/relationships break down are ignored. The root relations with the wider political economic system are ignored, or rose-tinted and championed as the ‘answer’. When really, people’s poverty, the criminalisation of certain drugs, the stigmatisation of certain groups and promotion of an ‘ideal’ outdated construction of a ‘perfect’ family/relationship or benefit ‘scroungers’ are central to why the government ignores the real changes required.