art-graffiti-women-wall
Art by Jay Mantri (http://jaymantri.com/)

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).

Suffragettes

“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”.