Women's and boys' rights
A piece in the Guardian today suggesting young women are angry about the apparent disappearance of "political feminism". Great!
I am sitting on a platform at the ICA with Naomi Wolf, and a young woman speaks up from the audience. "Where has our women's movement gone?" she asks. I am struck by her impatience and the anger that is voiced by other young women in the room. I hear them speak about feeling under attack by our Nuts-and-Loaded culture, which suggests to young women that their only chance of fulfilment and empowerment is through pandering to the so-called ironic fantasies of chortling men.
It is partly a mea culpa by the author, Natasha Walter, although it does make me want to point out the difficulty of getting anything overtly, or even covertly, "feminst" in the mainstream meda - I know because I was there, and I tried. And nearly all of the decisionmakers are males; the few exceptions are woman who have often had to, or felt they had to, be more male than the blokes to get to their positions. Mention the word "feminist" in a news meeting and you'll get either rolled eyes and comments about "bra-burning", or, in more politically correct areas, people clearly thinking similarly.
But then a story proving that youth can sort things out for themselves - a New Jersey schoolboy has won the right to wear skirts to school.
At first, Michael Coviello only wanted to bend the uniform code at Hasbrouck Heights High School by donning shorts, which he had started wearing because of a knee injury.
But he was told that district policy prohibited shorts in winter.
He sought a meeting with Joseph Luongo, the school superintendent, and argued that it was unfair that girls were allowed to expose their legs and he was not. The superintendent suggested that if he felt that way, he should dress like a girl. Michael, 17, a drummer in the school band and a member of the golf team, called his bluff and went shopping.
Well indeed; why shouldn't boys wear skirts?