It is discouraging to realize how much work remains to be done. It’s almost as if the feminist movement has made little progress in actually changing people’s attitudes. Maybe it is our desire to be considered “normal” that is leading us to stop questioning the established institutions. But when self-proclaimed feminists stop questioning the institution of marriage, when people claim they can smash the patriarchy with a patriarchal institution, when groping a (card-board) breast of a woman is “just a joke,” I wonder what has really changed. At least, the open mic comment of a governor regarding Janet Napolitano’s lack of life because she’s single generated some uproar. Maybe the awareness of singlism is growing. But even there, the comments show a “there are more important things” attitude. What can be more important to respecting people? To me that is the foundation for a democratic society and thus very important no matter what else is going on.
In any rate, it looks like we have our work cut out to raise people’s awareness that simply using gender-neutral terms does not end patriarchy and that it’s not okay to demean women.