Many Feminism articles cite the notion of Lewis’ law without stating the premise or original coining of the idea. We at Run The Word believe that it is a very important idea that needs to be understood by all.
Helen Lewis-Hasteley, an English journalist constructed the eponymous law (built on theories, links patterns), taken from her observation that “the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.” Making this claim first on Twitter in 2012, Lewis saw a recurring trend in not only societal discourse but the way in which comments and opinions were formed- with patterns in misogynistic hate at women online.
So you are probably thinking, why are you telling us about something negative? Well the truth is that will awareness of the way in which such language and opinions can negatively impact on both men and women will help spark change one person at a time who voices their concerns and calls out on people who irrationally make degrading comments against women or anyone for that matter. If such sexist comments are made, then what stops racist or age-orientated comments- what will be the end point?
We just need to look at recent cases the have inundated the media such as that of Anita Sarkeesian- author of video blog “Feminist Frequency” who spoke out against sexism and gender implications of video games. For speaking out about the industry and culture various harassment issues including negative comments began to spark further detrimental damage with the media critic forced to cancel a lecture at Utah State University due to terror threats as well as fleeing her home out of fear.
This is surely proof that comments and opinions if they are irrational and degrading can have a detrimental impact on the societal positioning and treatment of women- hence why feminism is valid. While critics argue the death of Lewis’ Law in terms of relevance- we believe that it is still valid to gender equality become reality.