"We are, physically, the weaker sex. We’re not as good at hefting stones, killing mammoths and rowing boats. In addition, sex often had the added complication of getting us pregnant, and leaving us feeling ‘too fat’ to lead an army into India. It’s not a coincidence that efforts towards female emancipation only got going under the twin exegeses of industrialisation and contraception – when machines made us the equal of men in the workplace, and The Pill made us the equal of men in expressing our desire. In more primitive times – what I would personally regard as any time before the release of Working Girl, in 1988 – the winners were always going to be anyone who was both physically strong enough to punch an antelope to the ground, and whose libido didn’t end up with them getting pregnant, then dying in childbirth.
So to the powerful came education, discussion, and the conception of ‘normality’. Being a man and men’s experiences were considered ‘normal’: everything else was other. And as ‘other’ – without cities, philosophers, empires, armies, politicians, explorers, scientists and engineers – women were the losers. I don’t think that women being seen as inferior is a prejudice based on male hatred of women. When you look at history, it’s a prejudice based on simple fact."