Here is a question most feminists have been asked before: what is it that you want, exactly?
There is usually a follow-up question: do you want women to be superior to men? Men, in particular, seem terrified at the idea of having to endure what women have had to bear with for centuries – irony is a cruel thing. The feminist response to these questions currently seems to be: feminists want men and women to be equals. Gender equality: a reasonable and simple goal, and one that can hardly be contested publicly (and yet).
CW: Strong descriptions of violence, femicide, sexual violence
We all know who Jack the Ripper is. Well, no-one actually has a clue who he is, but we know the name ‘Jack the Ripper’. And we know who he killed – the ‘Jack the Ripper victims’, or ‘Ripper victims’. Hardly anyone bothers to learn their actual names or who they were as it’s easier to lump them under the header ‘victims’ and simply assign to them the same nickname given to their killer. Except, of course, we know their names.
Their names were Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary Ann, Annie and Mary Jane.
There are others who were possibly killed by the same man but these are the ones generally agreed upon by historians. While we never bother to remember their names, we know everything about their deaths. Ask someone about the Ripper killings, and you’ll hear the same details.
“Be patient“. “These things happen naturally“. “Look how far women have come over the last fifty years!” “We should not force these things; society will get there in due time“.
The idea that our societies will somehow spontaneously evolve towards equality seems to be fairly popular out there – this is true for gender issues, but also applies to other forms of institutional discrimination (race, class, sexual orientation, religion, disability…). According to that idea, we are “naturally” progressing on a linear path towards happy, equal societies. All we have to do is “be patient”.