Thursday, December 29, 2005

Amazons to wusses

Aside from referencing this column in The Times because it's interesting, I'm backing away from this one ("I am man, see me run away.")

We reclaimed the night, we grew shaggy armpits, we had a blast. In 1975, Parliament finally caught up with the prevailing mood and so, 30 years ago today, the Sex Discrimination Act was passed and the Equal Pay Act came into force: a decent crack was ours for the taking and woe betide he who would deny us.

As things turned out, however, it wasn’t to be a he who dimmed the lights; it was a she. Moan all you will about glass ceilings and the still tenacious grip, in some quarters, of Neanderthal man; the terrible truth is that while it was women who fought for — and won — a historical advance for their sex, it was also women, thereafter, who blew it.

The overwhelming achievement of these three decades of feminism and its worker bees in the “women’s movement” has been to turn our triumph on its head. What was once about women’s strengths is now about their weaknesses; where once we celebrated what women can do, we are asked, now, only to make allowances for what they cannot.


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