A friend was talking about her holiday in Norfolk the other day and how when she was a child she learned to count the waves.
"You know how you count the waves and it's always the fifth wave that knocks you sideways?"
I liked this. I liked the idea that you have to wait for the really big one. The terrifying one. The one that makes all the difference and that knocks things out of the way.
I am indebted to women of second wave feminism. I see that they fought and fought hard. They achieved outstanding things that I continue to benefit from. I can't somehow understand how the gains they made suddenly stalled. I feel pretty guilty that I was part of a generation that followed and I let them down a bit. I didn't get my fight until later. When it was too late. They must be strong women not to feel despair at what came next.
Along came liberal feminism (the third wave?) and it's all very nice and inclusive and gentle and "choice" and dragging the bodies out one at a time and sending them back to the men.
(My allusion to bodies - from another friend - "Stop pulling the drowning bodies out of the river one at a time and look upstream to see who is throwing them in!" - look for the cause. Look for the system. Look for the men running the show. Look for the men killing women and stop them.)
Fuck knows what we have just now. Some days I look at the things being said to radical feminists - demonising them, othering them, aligning them with terrorists (what the actual?) and I think "radical" means something else entirely. What on earth is so "extreme" about wanting to challenge the systems that support inequality for women and maintain male advantage? I would have thought that was just feminism really. No need for a special term.
But this now that we are in....(fourth wave? Is it?) with men being awarded and lauded for wearing a dress. With men being applauded for wearing a t-shirt. With women being ostracised and silenced for saying "can we just meet here quietly without men... for a bit... just a few of us...?" With feminists being told they are extreme for saying Members of Parliament, their representatives, shouldn't wank off to porn in their office. With women being unable to point at a cock and say "that's a fucking cock that is and no mistake!"
Well....... let's wait for the wave that knocks it all sideways. It always comes.