Saturday, September 15, 2012

Catherine Deveny

I've never really taken to Deveny (might be something about her being a comedian?) but I do support her right to be 'loud and mouthy and opinionated' about things like homophobia, same-sex marriage, marriage, atheism, religion, immigration. I like this approach (probably cause it's my own) but I know that most people don't like this type of person (read woman). Her recent appearance on qanda last Monday (I just caught up on iview) has caused a bit of controversy it seems, re the way she took on Anglican Peter Jensen. (It's not only women who are called shrill and strident; Richard Dawkins gets it a bit, apparently).

This is a defence of Deveny and it makes for interesting reading, including the comments. It reminds me of the reaction Germaine Greer gets every time she opens her mouth including a couple of weeks ago, and I'm seeing whispers of it about Naomi Wolf too, about her new book Vagina, A New Biography. (That's maybe a whole other post. I'm thinking there's probably stuff I'd agree with, criticisms that is, however everyone just seems so fucking bitchy about everything and everyone. Is this the effect of twitter and blogging? Where everyone is just so out there about their opinions? So critical, so argh).

Connected to this story, is the issue of gaslighting. I'd never heard the term before but boy, I know the process. I read the open letter to Catherine Deveny and realised that it described perfectly what I'd experienced in a previous relationship. Wow. Just wow. I wonder if they really do know they're doing it? (the 'gaslighters'.)


Alex said...

I'm just amazed that people went off about it. Since I'm one of those people who usually finds Deveny's method of debate rude and obnoxious, I'd pretty much made my mind up going in. But I went and had a listen and ... I thought she was fine. Much better than usual. My count of her interrupting people was closer to ten than three, but in her defence, she wasn't given many other opportunities to speak. By Deveny standards, I thought it was positively prosaic. People will whip themselves into a lather about anything these days, I guess.

I wonder if they really do know they're doing it?

It's interesting to think about. I sometimes wonder about how much of our behaviour and the way we interact comes out of conscious thought and how much is just built up out of positive and negative reinforcement. I do know a lot of that stuff can be hard to change, even if you want to.

Melba said...

I agree, I thought she was better than I expected but people seem to have gone off about it. Weird. I think it's true, people are just ready to react - they are primed and I'm not sure why.

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