Alongside the Twitter and Pinterest Gladiators are the prophets of the Blogosphere (like me!) Here, we can set up our soap boxes and lecture into an enormous silence. We can develop our laborious points, air our grievances and bravely defy our imagined opponents, without fear of interruption or contradiction. We tell people what they think and then tell them why they’re wrong to think it.
For any sort of online combatant identifying micro-aggressions is a weapon that comes easily to hand. Because they are small and the result of uncritical assumptions, people can commit micro-aggressions at any moment, without realising. An imaginative arguer, having established themselves as being part of an oppressed minority, can draw oppression out of any number of the general public’s utterances.
In this we are literally antagonising them: redefining them as our antagonists even though they felt no enmity towards us before this.
In the past, we’d have pointed to these slips of the tongue as evidence of cultural bias, and blamed society as an abstract entity. Now, however, we’ve realised that this allows everyone to wash their hands of the problem. Everyone sighs regretfully, and agrees that society is unjust, then they carry on as normal, refusing to acknowledge that they are part of that society, like people in traffic jams complaining about the traffic.
Now, though, the internet has incubated a supercharged belief in the autonomy of the self. And this implies personal responsibility. And that implies collusion.