Tag Archives: Feminism

Why #MeToo is part of the zeitgeist


The future is female. Or is it? There is no doubting that the biggest political event of the year was #MeToo. When I first saw the hashtag, posted it on my social media and then wrote about it, I had no idea how big an impact this movement was going to have. Still is having. As a woman, one gets used to ‘women’s issues’ gaining a bit of publicity for a while, then fading into the background. This hasn’t faded. If anything, it is keeping a steady glow going.

There is hardly a profession that I have seen that hasn’t been mentioned in conjunction with #MeToo. Sure, it started with the relative elite of Hollywood, but I’ve seen mentions of this movement by women in the financial world, medicine, the London theatre scene, the classical music world, politics, the literary world, academia, opera. I’ve known, in acquaintance, a few of the accused, and the revelations weren’t surprising. The irony of art reflecting life reflecting art were not lost.

There’s been a multiplicity of reactions to #MeToo, from women. It wasn’t long (probably a month) before the mutterings of the #NotAllMen groups of women started. From my observance, they were mainly women ‘of a certain age’ and the main thrust of their argument, when one broke it down,  seemed to be that they had to put up with it, so why shouldn’t younger women have to do the same? Many of these women of my personal acquaintance (though not all) had sons which seemed, by their own words, to colour their views. Some women, who were friends with the accused, because they had not experienced this side of them found it hard to comprehend that they were capable of these actions. A human reaction, I guess; but part of the reason that the system of patriarchy and its narrative has prevailed. The deceit of women. Their cunning. When underneath all they are, are sluts. Branded women. Mark them with an A and have done with it. Dress them in a red dress and white bonnet and treat them as brood mares. They are good for little else. Possessions, not human beings.

This movement has given me pause about many things. Of course, partly I was elated and continue to be, that finally, these issues, which form so much a part of the experience of being female,  were being discussed, and that this movement hasn’t disappeared from the public consciousness yet. Partly I’ve been disappointed by the reactions of some other women, and recognise that there is much in there that has been the causation of the lack of progress of the suffragette movement and its descendants, the various waves of feminism. We are still having arguments about providing creches in workplaces – something that was established by the Pankhursts in their business a hundred years ago. If anything, we seem to have gone backwards in terms of this argument.

I believe that #MeToo is having a major effect because of the political schisms we are experiencing. We are seeing an epic battle between how things have been, and how we want them to be, and in between, how things currently are. There is a broad acceptance that how things are is no longer acceptable, and there must be change. There is also conflict with traditionalists and apologists for how things are, and how they want regressive change to the way things were. Crucial to the movement, to this moment, and to the rising call for female equality, has been Trump. Never has toxic masculinity, a real life consequence of the system of patriarchy,  been personified so odiously and so fully in one person. The Hero’s Journey is a basic principle of story-telling, and for every hero(ine) there must be a villain. Trump has fulfilled that role more than competently. In truth, one could argue that it is the only role he has fulfilled competently, providing the perfect example of what happens when one leaves power all in the hands of men. The call for female equality would not be resonating on this scale if men did not look at Trump as an example of their sex, and not like what they see. By and large, unless one is a white supremacist misogynist, he is the very antithesis of aspirational masculinity. His ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ comment. His wildly inappropriate and borderline incestuous comments about his daughter. His clear disregard for his current wife. The scarcity of women in his every staged photo opportunity. Women are useful and/or of service to him, or they are irrelevant, seems to be the message. The history books may yet show that the biggest catalyst for equality for women in Western countries was Donald Trump, despite the villain’s best efforts. No Hero’s Journey story is complete without the triumph of battle.

The way I see it, the major obstacles standing in the way of female equity, and that always have, are two-fold: Not just the implementation of patriarchal mores from men, but also from women themselves. A sort of keeping of the status quo. I was struck by this when reading about Meryl Streep recently. Now don’t get me wrong – I love Meryl Streep as an actress. I think she is probably the greatest living film actor, male or female. I’ve seen her speak at a Women of the World conference, and she comes across as a thoroughly nice human being, despite her disavowal of feminism, which I have to say, I did find disappointing. However, she is a person who has reached a certain level of power and influence, and her pronouncements about wearing black at the Golden Globes come across as someone who wants predominantly to maintain the status quo, while talking about protest. The problem with this is that sort of attitude is not possible, sustainable or even desirable to maintain anymore. It’s part of the ‘Change – but not too much’ attitude of neoliberalism. Unlike Brexit, change does actually mean change. Change is painful. It’s messy. It turns your world upside-down and inside out. Change is the rollercoaster ride that you have no guarantee of being thrown off of. It’s gut-wrenching, soul-destroying, overwhelming, terrifying. And ultimately, enervating, empowering and inevitable once one has been baptised in its fire.

I am using Streep as an example, not because I loathe her (the contrary) but because I believe her approach to fundamental change is wrong and can be a teachable moment. Sure, if every woman rocked up in black, there would be a huge amount of publicity – for the Globes and sales for media outlets. All predominantly run by men. These awards depend on women to boost their profile and sales. There is not one female director nominated this year, despite several great films directed by women, for example. Until they give women an equal footing, and equal power, then don’t engage. If every single woman stayed away from the awards season and refused to engage, that would do more than sending a message, and ‘making a statement’. I’m fairly certain it would have a real-life impact on the profile of the awards and media sales. Who, after all, wants to sift through hundreds of pictures of men in very similar looking tuxedoes?

I hasten to add that this isn’t an original idea – it is based on the Icelandic model of women disengaging from working, taking care of children and households in 1975 as an action against inequality. The result were quite startling – men were barely coping over the 24-hour period. They made their point, and got their first female president 5 years later.

Action can seem overwhelmingly. But even small actions matter. For example: I’ve made a commitment to not hashtag the Golden Globes – small in its way, but in this day and age, social media raises profile. An awards ceremony that does not recognise the achievements of women, half the population, is not a ceremony that I want to help in any way, shape or form. Instead, I’ll be writing as much as I can about #MeToo and issues of female equity as a counterbalance. Done collectively, like the #MeToo movement, these sort of actions can have impact.

The point is: protest is all very well. But actions do speak louder than words, and across sectors women need to start taking meaningful action that does not play by the rules of a game which treats them as second-class citizens. Then, and only then, will we see real progress on the issue of female equity. And progress on this, 100 years on from when women were arrested, tortured and killed merely to get a vote to get a seat at the table, more than change for its own sake, surely has to now be the aim. This is why #MeToo is a crucial movement, coming at a crucial time in the social history of the world, with remarkable staying power. It remains to be seen whether the hero will transform into the heroine on this journey, and whether the Heroine, female equity, will triumph at last.



Why the resurrection myth is a patriarchal cop-out


There’s a well-worn joke about how Jesus could be Irish: 1. He lived at home until he was in his thirties. 2. His mother thought he was God. 3. He thought his mother was a virgin. It’s a universal joke in fact – many elements of it are transferable to other cultures. I’ve been thinking a lot about Jesus and the whole Jesus legend being taken as historical fact; the memes that are used stating that he was a radical non-violent revolutionary and considering the myth, the man and how, in an age of rising white Christian supremacy (the irony being, of course, that even Christ himself was not a Christian) he is, some 2,000 years after his death, he is being used to justify oppression. If we look at the Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – which are all interconnected, we can see that the deepest connection that they all have in their practical execution, is structural patriarchy. Not to condemn religions outright, as in my experience, as a religionist and non-religionist, patriarchy rather than religion, is the greatest issue facing the world today. And a big part of this issue, as a former Irish Catholic, is the issue of resurrection.

Let me clarify: it is not just the resurrection itself which is the issue. It is the concept of man dying for ‘all the sins of the world’. Now, while that was big of him, and, in a sense, a noble aim (if true), what it inherently implies is an abdication of responsibility on the part of some of the people(s) he was dying for, and too great an assumption of responsibility on the part of others. Having been brought up Catholic in Ireland, how it works in a practical sense is with the whole concept of confession.

‘Bless me Father for I have sinned. It’s a week since my last confession. I really coveted and was jealous of my brother’s/sister’s bike etc’

‘Say three Hail Marys and one Holy Father I absolve you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit go and sin no more’.

‘Same time next week…’

Now, on the scale of innocence, what harm, might one say? Well, there’s a side concept of, rather than working through challenging emotions in a positive way, of guilt. Which,   from my observance, is a double-whammy when one is female. There’s a whole society  out there designed to make women feel guilty. Not married yet? What’s wrong with you? Can’t balance work, a family AND housework? What’s wrong with you? Not a perfect size 8/10/12 anymore and therefore not eye-candy for the male gaze? What’s wrong with you? ‘Became’ pregnant out of wedlock/raped/assaulted? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?

There are so many contradictions within religions themselves, but the transference of blame onto the vulnerable seems particularly heinous in my view. The concept of someone dying for other people’s sins immediately infantilises everyone else, which is not a danger in and off itself, depending on how far it goes.  And therein lies the rub. I’ve had two situations in the past week happen to me personally which might demonstrate on a microcosmic level how insidious this abdication of responsibility is in an Abrahamic, patriarchal structure. One was when helping a relative to find work and suggesting that he might want to consider toning down his quasi-evangelical views, which have been problematic in other employments in the past. While he was wholly aware of this, he still managed to turn it into my problem: I was a ‘disappointment’ but he ‘forgave’ me. I naturally told him that I didn’t need to be patronised or forgiven for helping him find work and subsequently ended the conversation.

The second situation was while out at the theatre with a man who happened to have a spare ticket. Within 10 minutes he was telling me how unlucky he was in love, and how he always seemed to meet the ‘wrong ones’. Not to mention some other, more physical breaching of boundaries later, but I found it both sad and interesting that there was zero assumption of any kind of shared responsibility for the breakdown of his relationships. And to be fair, he was incredibly polite compared to other men I’ve heard talking about their female exes. ‘She was a psycho’; ‘a bitch’; ‘a slag’. Maybe there is no blame to apportion; however, it does seem to me to be a curiosity and major red-light if there is a pattern involved.

Again, on a microcosmic and personal level, this is relatively innocuous. What deeply concerns me now, however is that we seem to be in an age politically both of infantilism, misogyny aligned with complete abdication of responsibility. The trend is being set by the rise of the political man-baby, who whines and tweets like a bratty pre-schooler ‘IT’S NOT MY FAULT!’

In a so-called Christian country, based on the actual tangibilities of a single mother, a man who broke bread with thieves and lepers and prostitutes, we have the abdication of responsibility of the have-mores in Phariseean mode at the expense of the have-nots. The ridiculous concern about chocolate eggs over austerity cuts (And yes, the PM is a woman – out of some 29% in Parliament). We have a so-called Christian man in John Smith, who refuses to take responsibility for his abuse of young boys terrified by his messianic zeal. We have the all-too-familiar scenario in Ireland where the Church, while quietly paying hush money on the side, refuses to admit liability for widespread abuse of women and children. We have, in religious countries, scenarios where a woman can be raped brutally and the man get off virtually scot-free, as with Brock Turner; where a man can say ‘I fell and penetrated her by accident’ as Ehsan Abdulaziz claimed a little over a year ago; and yet, where women are prevented from having autonomy over their own bodies on religious grounds. Where are the men in this picture? No doubt in some confessional near you, being absolved of rapine and child abuse with a few Hail Marys’ and in the case of the clergy, a move to a new parish.

It is clear to me that religion has its limitations with regards to the development of emotional intelligence.  It has those limitations, in my observance, because of its close connections with, and reliance upon, the structure of patriarchy. It offers, at its best, a moral code and structure which helps some people to reconcile the very many challenges of living as a human being. This, I have no issue with. At its worst, however, it gives the adherent carte blanche to engage in acts of aggressive tribalism, and inhumane acts, be that the incarceration of women as slaves in the Magdalene laundries, racist attacks on people of different colour, gender, religion or sexual persuasion as with the worldwide rise of the KKK and the Knights Templar, the torture and imprisonment of gay men in Chechnya – the list could go on of the crimes perpetrated in the name of religion, washed clean by pious absolution and the transference of the sins of the world onto a single historical figure.

To me, religion is full of metaphors being treated as facts, and therein lies the problem. The very essence of the story of Christ is the acceptance of responsibility, towards ourselves and other people. The idea that one person can make a difference in the world and to those around them. I don’t believe the resurrection to be an actual one – it is the enlightenment that happens when one lives a life of accountability. We have little hard evidence of renewal after this life, but it is possible that we can renew ourselves and our world within this life, by being responsible for our own actions and emotions, good and bad, by being open and vulnerable in our interactions with others, by balancing all of the traits of yin and yang inherent but underused in most people and in our wider societies. After all, as the findings of Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson confirm, Jesus himself knew the importance of the Divine Feminine.



Nasty women


I’m really so sad I couldn’t go to the #WomensMarch today. So I’ve finally bit the bullet and became a fully paid up member of the Women’s Equality Party UK. Essentially, because I believe women’s equality (or more correctly, equity, because equality assumes there is a level playing field according to need, which there is not) to be the key issue underlining a number of other issues worldwide. I’ve always shied away from being part of a group, as I’m not really comfortable in that dynamic. But it just seems with all that’s happened over the last year that I need to do more on a personal level.

Here’s why I think everyone should support female equality (science bit coming up). Women in the UK are 51.7% of the population. Statistics show that there are inequalities across the board in a patriarchal society (which the UK is), in terms of opportunity, career advancement, pay equality etc. When we look at some other minority/oppressed groups across the board in the UK specifically (according to the most recent census, so may veer around this area, but not too much away from it) the figures are as follows:

Black British/African/Carribean: 3%
Immigrants: 13%
LGBTQ: 1.7%
Muslim: 4.5%
Transgender: 0.4%
Disabled: 19%

Now let me pose a question. If patriarchal structures and those who benefit from them have no ideological qualms about oppressing more than half the population who happen to be female – how much less do you think they care about the oppression of groups significantly fewer in percentage and number? Logically, therefore, it is crucial that women’s equity be supported, and come to fruition. Otherwise, we will end up in an endless cycle of Dubya, Dubyer, and Dubyest (we may think there is no worse than Trump at this juncture, but he is making the Dubya years seem moderate by comparison).

Trump is the logical conclusion of centuries of toxic masculinity run amok – time to stop that sh*t now, put it on the eternal naughty step, and aim for a fairer, more representative, more equal, more emotionally intelligent, more sustainable society. As it happens, half of the world’s potential is and has been severely under-utilized. If the definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different result, then patriarchy is the sewage on which the proponents of said madness (currently the white male supremacists) thrive.

Am I saying women could be better? Not necessarily or unnecessarily. Who knows – it’s a theory largely untested. But I do think its time has come and is long overdue.

Even if it is not entirely altruistic, and you’re not entirely comfortable with the idea of female equality (although, to be quite frank, if that is the case, one would do well to question how much patriarchal conditioning forms that stance), if you’re a member of any of the groups above, statistically speaking it is in your best interests to support it. Because once the battle for 51.7% of the population is one, other battles will be harder to ignore. And we are stronger together.

And even if your only motivation is to p*ss off Donald ‘P*ssPOTUS’ Trump, supporting women should do it. You might even want to become a member of The Women’s Equality Party. Check it out. See what you think. Originated in the UK, but I believe this is a party that could potentially, like the Green Party before it, go worldwide and be a force for political change in the world. A march is important, but is just a first step. The key to change is meaningful power. And one thing is certain. Women sure as hell can’t leave all of the responsibility for their bodies, their lives, the earth and its inhabitants up to men. Not while men like Donald Trump have their itchy trigger finger of those tiny wandering hands anywhere near a red button. Be it Twitter,nuclear or a clitoris.

“Until we are all free, we are none of us free. ” – Emma Lazarus (1849-1877)



In the winter of 2005, I met the Clintons. All of them: Bill, Hillary and Chelsea. This came about because I was part of Sir Peter Hall’s second production of As You Like It, which, after a successful first run starring his daughter Rebecca as Rosalind, went for a second run with the then-unknown Dan Stevens as Orlando. After a fairly cold and inauspicious start in the yet-to-be-finished Rose Theatre in Kingston, New York welcomed and embraced us with open, warm arms. It seemed at the time like the whole world had come to see us perform over those few weeks. Lou Reed. Martin Scorsese. And then – the ultimate seal of New York approval at that time as we played deep in the heart of Brooklyn – the Clintons.

I heard about their impending visit 24 hours before the rest of the cast as my cast buddy on tour was our wardrobe mistress. (In theatre, Wardrobe is always ahead of the game).  To say I was excited  was an understatement. We tend to forget it now, after over a year of character assassinations by the Trump campaign and their supporters, and after EmailGate – but the Clintons were political royalty. They had that rock-star edge about them, and they were loved in New York, but adored in Brooklyn. Prior to the actual first African-American president, Bill Clinton was seen as the first honorary African American president. Which seems to say more about those times in retrospect – but that was the way it was.

Suffice it to say – their presence was the highlight of that part of the tour. The reception they received was rapturous – there was a 10-minute standing ovation for them. And afterwards we, the cast and crew, got to meet them.

I remember observing them, these smooth political operators, as they glided from person to person, and what struck me is the rarity of people like these. Our Touchstone, Michael Siberry (who later appeared in, among other shows, House of Cards) was costumed with a pair of stripey, colourful socks. Bill Clinton took one at them and said, in that infamous drawl ‘Y’know, if I’d had a pair of them, maybe things would have gone a bit easier for me at the UN sometimes’ – a quick, easy, wonderful, self-deprecating reference to his own position and the verbal acuity of the character. When a fellow cast member pushed me forward to have a photo with him (I’d mentioned I’d love to have it to send to my mum, and said so to Mr. Clinton), he took it graciously. Grace. Ease of character. Whatever his personal peccadilloes and failings, these qualities epitomise his presence.


But – and this is not with the benefit of hindsight – it was Hillary that impressed me most. She was much softer in person than television had led me to believe. They say you can get a measure of a person by how they treat those who are not as privileged around them. Not only did she seem to know everybody’s name on the staff in the theatre, but she also remembered personal details about them. Even if she’d done a quick spot of revision before coming – what a brain. Encyclopaedic. Astounding.

I remember acutely the first time I voted. It was for the first female president of Ireland, Mary Robinson. Despite her obvious superiority as a politician and campaigner than the favourite, Brian Lenihan, she faced an uphill battle till he was forced to drop out of the race due to scandals surrounding his ‘mature recollections’ of certain political actions. There were those, including women, prior to that, who were vehemently opposed to her and yet she went on to become the greatest, and arguably the most memorable nationally and internationally President the Republic of Ireland has ever seen. As a young woman, growing up in the dark days of theocratic Ireland, this was huge. I look around at that generation of women, my friends, and remember what hope we all had for the state of women in the world. Young. Naive as to how our very existence and ambitions were a threat to some of the men around us.

If we were ever in doubt that misogyny exists in the world, and in Western society, once elevated as a beacon of hope for women among that society itself, this past 6 months of politics has exposed that lie. It has painted, easier than the many posts on Facebook and social media that I’ve written to that effect, to howls of incredulity from men, the picture that women face in society. Almost a quarter of a century on from Mary Robinson and my first vote, I’ve faced down enough misogyny in my own life – sexual, personal, workplace – to know that there is much work to be done before female equity (i.e. equality that truly benefits women) is achieved.

In 2008, while I was sceptical of Obama and his basically undefined policies at that time, I was cognisant of what his very presence in the White House, as the first African American, would mean to the African American community and the country at large. It’s been absolutely vital that he was there, and yet his presidency has exposed the deep racism at that had laid unseen by the wider world as long as white people were in charge. It’s been necessary, if horrifying to witness, in broad daylight, the acceptance of white supremacist dialogue, with all that entails, in political life and wider society.

the-clintonsSo, while I have profound political differences with her, my hope is that Hillary Clinton will prevail today. For women and our current place in society, it is absolutely vital that she does. Even if all she is is a figurehead, that figurehead is necessary in today’s political climate of violent, invasive, rape-culture leanings. She has certainly proven herself to be a political warrior of some mettle in debates with an individual who, quite frankly, should never have progressed farther than his playpen. It is on a knife-edge in many states, and there are many of us this side of the pond suffering PBSD (Post Brexit Stress Disorder), as in political events that seemed inconceivable can now actually happen – but today, I have hope. A person who grew up in the countryside of Ireland and yet may have unwittingly met two US Presidents understands that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. To paraphrase Harvey Milk, for today, I ‘gotta give [myself] Hope’.




Is masculinity really in crisis?


In 2009, I was teaching in a sixth-form college in south-west London. One of my students came to me one day and said “Miss, I’m a feminist”. I was a little taken aback, but pleased at this statement. I also caught myself wondering: Does she know what it means?

Sometimes, I am not sure myself what it means to be a feminist. I know what it means to me: that women have equal rights to men, but according to their individual needs. This last adjunct seems to me to be often overlooked by society. I experienced an example of this on the Overground a few months back. I had met some acquaintances and was deep in conversation with them, until it came to the attention of the carriage that a man was arguing with a pregnant woman, to whom it seemed he had just given his seat. What became clear was that although he had given up his seat, he had done so extremely reluctantly. He was invoking equal rights, and haranguing the pregnant lady, who looked far too ill to really defend herself. So, after listening to him for a while (it was impossible not to) and waiting for someone else to step in, I said “Excuse me”. He turned towards me. I pointed to the sign above the seat and said “Do you see that sign? That is a priority seat, which is reserved for people with children, the elderly, disabled people and women who are pregnant. You are none of those, so if someone fits into those categories, no matter what, you are obliged to vacate your seat.” He then said sneeringly “But what if I were disabled?” I looked at him askance, and he said no more. (Just to set your mind at ease dear reader, he clearly was not. And a few minutes later I gave up my non-priority seat to another pregnant woman. I don’t only talk the talk).

There have been a number of articles this week about masculinity in crisis. To me, this is a non-issue. A very clever one, politically for Diane Abbott and the Labour party to have raised – but a non-issue nonetheless. The real issue here is that men are finally starting to be held accountable for their bad behaviour (as a gender) to the present day – and they don’t like it. It is akin to children throwing their toys out of the pram, because they are asked to share them. What infuriates me, as a feminist, in the absence equality between the sexes as of yet, that this is being raised as an issue at all.

Certainly, men as a gender have to re-assess their position in light of historical patriarchal power. That goes without saying. But in my view – they’ve had the opportunity to do this since the Suffragettes. It should hardly come as a surprise to men living in 2013 that treating women equally in society according to women’s individual needs is the right thing to do. No one would argue (I would hope) in this day and age that treating people of colour equally is the right thing to do. Or the LGBT community. Or disabled people. Or (and this is UK specific) Irish people. So why is there this blind spot when it comes to the treatment of women, who make up at least 50% of the population?

If there is a crisis of masculinity happening in the UK, that crisis would be better spent addressing the patriarchal wrongs the male gender have and continue to inflict on women. As a woman, I could give that crisis more credence if women didn’t still earn 13p less for every £1 a man earns. I could give that crisis more credence if rape and sexual abuse (of which women are the main victims) was not so often failed by the criminal justice system – something like a paltry 1% of rapists are convicted, which adds to the sense of male entitlement. I could give that that crisis credence if we didn’t only have barely 23% women MPs in the UK Parliament and 4% female CEOs in the FTSE 100. In the UK, women are still forced to choose between returning to work and the costs of childcare – in a women-friendly world, employers would be forced to provide childcare. In my profession, I have known performers who have brought their children to rehearsal to make a point – but they were well-recognised enough that they could get away with that. Not every woman has that privilege.

This is also not to say that women’s advancement in society (or lack thereof) is because of men. Women also collude in that lack of advancement by not demanding what is right for their gender as a whole, or having some sense of misplaced guilt. For example, I know many women who are absolutely against quotas. While I respect their right to disagree with me, I believe quotas are temporarily the way forward, and have been proven to work in countries like Norway (incidentally the quota there was introduced by Ansgar Gabrielsen, a male Conservative trade and industry minister). We can also see from countries like the US, where affirmative action was introduced in the 1960s, that it is necessary: although a black president has been voted in twice (and how unthinkable would that have been 50 years ago), racial equality still has a long way to go there – how much longer would things have taken to change somewhat WITHOUT affirmative action is the real question?

I am also not saying that women with equal power and rights would behave any better than men. In fact, I suspect they would not. But that does not mean that they should not be given an equal chance to behave well or badly. Until then, it is hypothetical.

For feminism to make real progress, it needs men to realise that it benefits them as well. Perhaps that would lessen the “crisis” of masculinity somewhat; but it seems to me that men do not recognise the potential positive effects for their gender. With equal rights comes equal responsibility, and that can only be a good thing. And it can work. In my own life, my mother was the main breadwinner, and my father was a house husband, at a time when “latte papas” had not even been conceived as a concept (mainly because “latte” was still a word in Italian meaning “milk”). And it worked, because in spite of their gender, they were temperamentally suited to their roles – and would have been deeply unhappy had the roles been reversed. When we humans stop giving in to the brainwashing that society inflicts on us to keep us in line, and start living our individual lives from our own personal needs: intellectual, emotional, biological and spiritual is when the fight for female equality will be over. Until then, it is incumbent on every person, if they regard themselves as a person of integrity, to insist that the real issue du jour is that in 2013, women are still having to argue the point of feminism.