Can we expect a new era of equality? Not if the first public utterances by some of the early offenders are anything to go by
New year, new start! After all the exciting social upheavals last year such as #MeToo, it’s all change now, right? Diana, by email
Oh, Diana. Your optimism is beautiful, shining like a beacon in the apocalyptic wasteland of cynicism in which we now find ourselves. Sadly, snuff it out I must. It was all terribly exciting this time last year, as we watched powerful people being called out for behaviours that had always been wrong but – for reasons no one can explain now – they had been able to get away with until literally last year. Sexism, racism, harassment and even flat-out rape: they were all denounced, as previously marginalised, or at least less powerful, people finally took a stand against powerful men, and – more importantly – they were believed. Even if we didn’t win all the fights, even if Brett “I didn’t write: ‘Sexually assault someone’ on my calendar; case closed!” Kavanaugh is, incredibly, on the supreme court, despite Christine Blasey-Ford’s powerful testimony that he assaulted her as a teenager, it still felt like a watershed had been reached. Truly, we thought, men had learned their lesson. Oh, brave new dawn of sexual equality!