Back in the 70s, during the dark ages when I was in college, feminism was at its peak. There were women burning bras and Ms. magazine was going strong -- the whole movement was very chic. It was fashionable to be a feminist -- those students who weren't were considered a little backward.
|Hunter S. Thompson|
The feminist movement aimed to change that attitude, either peacefully or, if that didn't work (and it seldom did), through radical actions. The radical feminists were out there doing the heavy work while the rest of us went to every day. Slowly, but surely, change happened.
These changes wouldn't have happened without the feminist movement. In my experience, people don't change their behavior without some benefit to themselves and the 1960s male-dominated workforce was functioning quite well, thank you very much. What it didn't foresee was that women were tired of being forced into roles they weren't suited to play.
Activists like Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, and Simone de Beauvoir pointed that out again and again and again, until, in spite of ourselves, we changed the way we thought about women. As a result, the 2011 work world is a better place for women. It's not perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better.