Yet, as we have seen, ideology becomes at the same time an increasingly important component of power, a pillar providing it with both excusatory legitimacy and an inner coherence. As this aspect grows in importance, and as it gradually loses touch with reality, it acquires a peculiar but very real strength. It becomes reality itself, albeit a reality altogether self-contained, one that on certain levels (chiefly inside the power structure) may have even greater weight than reality as such. Increasingly, the virtuosity of the ritual becomes more important than the reality hidden behind it. The significance of phenomena no longer derives from the phenomena themselves, but from their locus as concepts in the ideological context. Reality does not shape theory, but rather the reverse. Thus power gradually draws closer to ideology than it does to reality; it draws its strength from theory and becomes entirely dependent on it. This inevitably leads, of course, to a paradoxical result: rather than theory, or rather ideology, serving power, power begins to serve ideology. It is as though ideology had appropriated power from power, as though it had become dictator itself. It then appears that theory itself, ritual itself, ideology itself, makes decisions that affect people, and not the other way around.
The bulk of the controversy surrounded whether she invaded her partners' rights to privacy , and whether the subjects of Owen's faux thesis have a right to sue, as was done in the case of Jessica Cutler when Cutler published details of her sex life on a blog .  It also raised questions as to whether double standards exist if the reaction would have been the same had the faux thesis been written by a male.  The faux dissertation attracted additional attention because some of the men whom Owen ranked were from the lacrosse team , and there was an unrelated sex controversy surrounding the team a few years prior.