that women protests against male domination and the quest for equality is a modern phenomenon. Not so. Throughout history there's plenty of testimony that women always battled against male hegemony. There are many examples that in many a nation females were subjected to discrimination but there were also some who declined to be egg carriers and succeeded in breaking taboos and barriers. From Boudica to Queen Bess, Marie Curie, Marie Stopes and a legion of others, many ladies have proved that power and success are not the prerogative of men. I abhor misogyny and favour philogyny. But while some fuss that there is them and us I remain an optimist. I have faith that man will stop being a chauvinist and hope that no woman will ever be a misandrist.
gentlemanly cartoon holes in crash-test walls while actual men with calipers and laser beams charted the mannish space they left behind.
So, as ever, she slipped through too bulky seat belts,
or, beneath the steering column, improperly restrained, she crashed the dashboard, went through the windscreen, unprotected by the crumple zones, far more like to die.
And there were never any dummies for the woman in the passenger seat, in her women’s place; because no man was ever curious enough to see the difference she made by being there.
It always was the men, techie boys and nerds, caught up in data, algorithms, routines, who programmed everything with a blokey mind, who omitted the question of a feminine side, who avoided the distaff, the brain’s right side, and suppressed rising anima with their animus, not out of animosity, you understand, but filtered out by astigmatic ignorance.
It’s a man’s world, a world of patriarchs, the patriarch, for all his empathy (and then not much) is heard to say, who designed the bridges, the cars that cross them, this electric world, its lights and wires, our industry, its phones and planes and automatic doors?
He implies: it’s chaps like me, and he ignores all those silly women who mapped the stars, who plumbed the biology of cells, lived with apes (who taught more than husbands ever would), who found the skulls of forebears, explored the quantum universe, sent rockets into space, looked inside black coal and spiralled DNA, who won their own prizes for things that some men thought only men could do.
And so there it is: the yawning gap in our assumptions, a chasm, where the wisdom and prowess of half the world is disregarded, left out of the reckoning, just because half the world condemns the rest to seem more useless than itself.