Mar 8, 2014
You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby (or Have You?)
Posted on Feb 21, 2013
By Ruth Rosen, TomDispatch
The daytime brutal rape and killing of a 23-year-old in India in early January 2013 prompted the first international protest around violence against women. Maybe that will raise the consciousness of some men. But it’s hard to feel optimistic when you realize how many rapes are still regularly being committed globally.
So, yes, we’ve come a long way, but without achieving full access to legal abortion, comprehensive childcare, or equal pay—those three demands from so many decades ago. Nor have we won the right to enjoy public space without fearing violence, rape, or worse.
I always knew this was the longest revolution, one that would take a century or more to unfold. It’s upended most of our lives, and significantly improved so many of them. Nothing will ever be the same. Yet there’s still such a long way to go. I doubt I’ll see full gender equality in my lifetime.
Ruth Rosen, a former columnist for the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, is Professor Emerita of History at the University of California at Davis and a Scholar in Residence at U.C. Berkeley. She is the author, most recently, of The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America. She is on the editorial board of Dissent magazine and is a monthly contributor to OpenDemocracy.net in England. Her op-eds, commentary and articles can be found on the website www.ruthrosen.org.
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