It is the mentality of individuals like Emily Hill that has stunted societal growth since Day Dot. Despite Hill’s insistence, we aren’t ranting and raving over nothing. Caitlin Moran, who Hill appears to take personal offence to, isn’t sitting at home with a mug of Earl Grey, working her way through a packet of Digestives mulling over what she can moan about in her next column. She’s addressing real issues that continue to be a problem in today’s still highly unequal society.
The “pointless attention-seeking” Hill suggests feminists in 2015 are accustomed to is frankly laughable. That’s exactly what people said at the time of the women’s suffragette movement. The fact that people are still resenting feminism in this way surely proves the need for its existence.
The main issue of Hill’s argument I take offence to is the notion that this “new wave of feminists” are portraying females as weak, “unable to withstand a bad date”. She is belittling aspects of gender relations which are wrongly accepted as social norms, and should be broken down and improved in the same way as second wave feminists did, when they took the debate from the public sphere of suffrage to the private domestic sphere of equality. Today’s feminists are looking to take this one step further, whilst maintaining feminism as an issue to not be overlooked. Rape culture is ever-present, and is born out of these small, seemingly insignificant moments that Hill dismisses as “trivial”. If feminists succeed in changing people’s attitudes towards the root of this problem, society can be improved for the better, and hopefully lower the huge numbers of sexual assaults in the UK.
I am by no means belittling the success of feminism to date. There is no doubt we’ve come a huge way, but I cannot accept that we are now a perfectly equal society. Hill’s belief that when our generation reaches the peak of our careers, “the entire management structure of Britain will have been transformed – and feminised” is idealistic to say the least. Women’s ability to give birth is the factor that is preventing this from happening, and employer’s opinions aren’t likely to change regarding this in the foreseeable future. Until men are able to shoot babies from their wombs, the world will never be equal. If a man and a woman were equal in their abilities, the vast majority of companies would employ a man, because he was not about to nip off on a whim to, I don’t know, bring life into this world or some such horrifically weak feminine act.
Call me a killjoy, a moaner – I could not care less. There’s no denying we’ve come a hell of a long way since the turn of the 20th century, but why settle for the current state when we can continue to rally for improvement? And please forgive me for not having the utmost respect for someone who refers to the “real feminist icon Margaret Thatcher”. This needs no further explanation.
Image source: The Spectator