The history of feminism offers some answers to those questions, too. As these painful, intergenerational debates drag on, we’ll end up with newer, stronger, battle-tested feminist platforms. By having the courage to speak up, regardless of the likely consequences — which is, in itself, a way of asserting agency and resisting Victorian notions of female frailty — we’ll make measurable (if slow) progress. We’ll remember that, as difficult as it has been to reckon with the patriarchy’s power in these past few months, the movements for sexual and professional equality are not new. Two generations ago, the gender pay gap
was more like a chasm. Many careers were entirely closed to women. Hollywood's reckoning has already yielded Time's Up, a new organisation that, along with fighting for gender parity in the entertainment industry, is raising money
to fund lawsuits by working-class women in all industries and pushing for legislation to penalise companies that tolerate sexual misconduct. In 2058, assuming America hasn’t been sold to Russia or plunged into nuclear winter, it will likely seem obvious to college girls that a complex person who had a few fucked-up things happen to her doesn’t have to be defined by those things.