Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

The Revolution Has Only Just Begun


I love this message from Germaine Greer in the Times today:

But in the real world, women have changed; bit by bit, they are growing stronger and braver, ready to begin the actual feminist revolution. The feminist revolution hasn’t failed, you see. It has only just begun. But in the real world, women have changed; bit by bit, they are growing stronger and braver, ready to begin the actual feminist revolution. The feminist revolution hasn’t failed, you see. It has only just begun.

Greer says we should stop bemoaning ladettes, the pinkification of girls and ongoing, constant and, let’s face it, boring sexual objectification of women as signs that feminism is on the wane. Instead, she says the fact that women walk out of their marriages, refuse to accept servility, is a sure sign that the revolution is ongoing.

As women’s economic independence increased, their tolerance of marital infidelity, and of emotional and physical abuse, diminished. If you ever doubted that family stability depended on the oppression of women, you now have the proof. The proportion of divorces rises so inexorably that my figures are probably already out of date. In the developed world 40 per cent or more of marriages end in divorce, typically after seven or eight years, with a year or two to establish separation and then the actual divorce. Most of these divorces are initiated by wives. This is proper change. There’s no going back from here.

Another factor for Greer is the banks’ realisation that women make good customers:  

Banks were slow to wake up to the fact that women’s credit performance is much better than men’s, but they got there in the end. Now we have a worldwide system of microcredit, based on giving small loans to women, who won’t spend the money on prostitutes, booze, gambling and cigarettes. 

 (Read the whole article here.)

I interviewed one of Germany’s top women scientists this week and it was a privilege to do so. I asked her what advice she’d give young women going into science now and she said: one, get into the best lab possible so that you are exposed to excellence, and two, make sure the person you have a family with is prepared to do 50% of the work.

How remarkable, but also how simple. 50% of the work, that’s all it is. To me, that’s the revolution.


In other news, please don’t forget the Big Bad Bloggers Competition.

In still other news, this is my 500th post!


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

12 thoughts on “The Revolution Has Only Just Begun

  1. Germaine Greer has such good things to say. If only we could hear her more. Nice blog!

  2. Congratulations on the 500th post. I think she put it well. When I think of my childhood and what was available to and expected of girls and women, compared to my children’s upbringing, a lot has changed.

  3. 500! A week of milestones.

    Children who were prepared to do any of the work would probably help a little too.

  4. I like the scientist’s advice. 50% is realistic for the next generation and even for ours if we got lucky. What she doesn’t mention is that today’s mothers should be training their sons to cook, clean and iron their own shirts… or does she?

  5. I went to see Germaine Greer speak recently at a local university. She took questions from the audience afterwards.

    She was amazing – warm and funny, with an intellect and vision that was just so impressive still – years after the Female Eunuch.

    She talked then of how the fact that women were no longer prepared to stay in unsatisfactory marriages was evidence that the revolution was still in progress and gathering momentum.

    I chose to end my own partnership about eighteen months ago, even though that meant being a single parent to three children. My quality of life since then has improved without a doubt. It felt like Greer was talking to me that night.

  6. Yay! Good for Germaine Greer. And congratulations on your 500th post, Charlotte!

  7. Congrats on reaching 500 posts. Wow! And I agree with Greer’s thoughts on this. I think we men also need to be reminded that we have our own revolution which needs some energising too.

  8. Yes ma’am. I like that. It does seem to me that equality is still only a veneer. I like the positive spin on the divorce rate – that women just won’t take shit anymore. Yay!

  9. Hello – just wanted to let you know I have moved – well blog moved – cyber moved I suppose.

    Catch up soon…


  10. Great post, and congrats on 500!

    How likely is it that a woman will find a partner to take on 50%? I literally don’t know anyone who fits that description (sadly) and I don’t see young boys being raised to take that on… Sigh…

  11. Congratulations on your 500th post!
    Woot woot!

    As for the beginning of the revolution, I’m really happy to see how far it has come just in my lifetime.

  12. Congratulations on your 500th post.

    I’m not sure that I see the rising tide of divorces as signs of a good thing.

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