Why do I feel that this time it’s going to be different? That the Fourth Wave of Feminism will actually achieve equality?
Because the men are different.
Compared to the unafraid, more serious, individualist men of today, the macho but fearful, grey flannel Suits of the 70s were waxworks.
Today’s men can see the logic of the situation: it makes sense not to waste 50% of the country’s brains. It makes sense to dump the medieval attitude of men towards women that has so clearly not been dumped by Islamic extremists. It is only fair to treat women as equals, rather than unpaid servants.
In the 70s, the male backlash against feminism was instant and brutally effective. Feminists were branded hairy-legged, saggy-breasted, aggressive lesbians.
Worse – they were “unfeminine”. Nobody has yet worked out what “unfeminine” means because to be a woman is, by definition, to be feminine.
But – after years of being taught how to be feminine by women’s magazines – Seventies’ women were terrified of being unfeminine.
This time round, wanting Equal Pay doesn’t stop you wearing heels and shopping for lacy underwear at Agent Provocateur: you can be a feminine feminist.