The ‘Lesbians Are Everywhere’ Campaign And Conspiracy Theories

Photo: Marco Gomes

Photo: Marco Gomes

Padraig Reidy comes up with an unusual parallel between a gay tolerance campaign in Ireland and the appeal of conspiracy theories, in a commentary for the Guardian:

In 1990s Ireland, a poster campaign was launched to encourage more enlightened attitudes to homosexuality. Alongside various pictures of happy, smiling, safe-looking women ran the caption: “Lesbians are Everywhere”. It’s clear what they were getting at, but you couldn’t escape the notion that it sounded vaguely like a threat. Or possibly a warning: “Watch out! They’re behind you, plotting in their dark way.”

People could very easily have become obsessed with spotting lesbians, indeed harboured the suspicion that every woman they met was gay. After all, if lesbians are everywhere, then it seems pretty likely this woman before me is a lesbian, doesn’t it? Roughly the same logic applies to conspiracism. Once you have bought the idea that conspiracies run the world, it seems reasonable to assume that everything is a conspiracy.

A glance at some of the big conspiracist websites shows there is a whole range of issues which are, absolutely, definitely conspiracies. Al-Qaida attacks on the United States, indeed al-Qaida itself, are definitely not what they seem. The banking crisis has been engineered to keep us subjugated. Water is fluoridated (or worse) to keep us docile and impotent. Harmful vaccines are distributed with malice, as part of “The Hidden Agenda for a Global Scientific Dictatorship”.

Like so much information, this stuff has found new currency on the web. And it’s undeniable that the web has made it easier for like-minded people to find each other. But it’s certainly not a new phenomenon. Writing on conspiracist thinking in Tribune in 1944, George Orwell (a man often quoted by conspiracy theorists) noted: “In one form or another this kind of thing seems to attack nearly everybody, apparently answering to some obscure psychological need of our time.”…

[continues in the Guardian]

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    Reidy seems to be reaching for a point that he can’t quite grasp.  Quotes:

    “That “obscure psychological need” seems plain enough to me. The beauty of the true conspiracy theory is that there is no room for error or stupidity. Everything is planned. That is a comforting thought. This deep faith in the existence of a masterplan is, for all the radical posturing of the modern conspiracist, a deeply conservative viewpoint.”

    . . . AND . . .

    “And here lies a real problem. Conspiracism can appeal to the disenfranchised and idealistic as an explanation of why the world isn’t how you’d like it to be. But it can become dangerous when one starts to believe that the big “They” are intent on keeping you from reaching your full potential, possibly out of malice, possibly out of fear of your unleashed abilities. Start that line, and you’re really not far from believing in the Übermensch, a view that Anders Breivik undoubtedly subscribed to in his hotchpotch manifesto, filled with references to leftist plots against Europe and confused allusions to the Knights Templar, possibly gleaned from Scandinavian television’s regular showings of the 1982 TV film of Ivanhoe.”

    . . . BUT …

    “None of this is to suggest conspiracies don’t happen, that men do not gather in secret and plot to orchestrate events, that governments will not do unspeakable things to citizens without them knowing.”

    I think it would have been a little more helpful if Reidy attempted to provide some actual criteria for assessing the plausibility of a conspiracy theory, or at least move in that direction.  Instead of what he’s done here, which is merely to point out that they’re scary and difficult to evaluate.

    To which I can only respond, “Well, DUH!!!”

  • Special

    if you try hard enough you can still get with the hot ones. And they don’t have to stay over long and will probably only cheat with another chick. Win Win 

  • Redacted

    Yeah, Lesbians are everywhere. So are the gays, as I learned the hard way when one promised to introduce me to some lesbians if I only would blow him.

    • JaceD

      And then it turned out he didn’t actually know any lesbians.

      • Raz

         Or the lesbians are of the manly types (looking like Charlie Sheen). Not the sexy bicurious types.

  • Guest

    “Shit articles are everywhere”

  • Lupa

    There’s           a                  big              ol’               LESBO             right              here                right                                                      NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  • The Known Truth

    very obvious why us good guys can’t meet a decent woman anymore today.

  • Don’t Understand

    it really sucks for us straight guys looking for a good woman now, Doesn’t It?