At a jam-packed London concert when I was 16 years old, a man put his hand on my leg. I knew straight away that it was absolutely not okay. I did not know him, he had not spoken to me, and most importantly, at no point I answer yes to anything like, 'excuse me miss, can I put my hand on your thigh for a while?'.
Gender norms are so fixed that we refuse to recognise male victims of sexual violence just as we refuse to identify female perpetrators. As a woman, I was taught from a very early age that men are always after sex, the same way I was taught that sex is not a primary drive for women. Ridiculous as both these statements sound, they're still inscribed on our social psyche.
Why can't excellent women progress in their careers in proportion to their talent? Every day, it seems, a new factor is blamed. We're too apologetic and indecisive. Or self-deprecating and cute. We lack confidence in the company of alpha males. We can't crack the 'boys club' mentality in the boardroom. Some of us over-compensate and play it super-tough or 'bossy'. What's best?
The problem with feminism isn't with the idea itself, but everything that surrounds it. From the misunderstanding of what the term actually means, to the idea that it is only for women. In fact, feminism is a threat to the way things have been for centuries, one which affects the demographic I belong to particularly: the white, straight, middle-class male.