The war in Ukraine has once again brought into focus some of the most pressing problems of our time: The dangers posed by autocratic leadership, the suffering of refugees, chauvinism and racism. After Russia invaded Ukraine, many in the country fled toward the Polish borders. Most of the people in the trains out of Ukraine were white. Black people were not permitted into the carriages before them. At the same time we are seeing a renaissance in praise for the archetypal war hero, this time in the form of the brave Ukrainian fighters.
Significatn progress towards more tolerance, more integration and more equality
Does this mean that feminists and anti-racists have been working for nothing all these years? Of course not. As unhappy as current events are right now, there has been significant progress made toward more tolerance, more integration and more equality. Movements like Me Too and Black Lives Matter are regularly covered in the mainstream media. Looking into the details, there has been more attention given to related phrases over the past few years, with topics like discrimination, inequality, intersectionality, systemic injustice and patriarchal structure used more often.
An analysis of 27 million articles in 47 popular American news publications, between 1970 and 2019, shows that the use of such terms has grown rapidly since 2010, in left- and right-wing publications. In the New York Times alone, the use of the words, sexist and racist, rose 400% since 2012. But these are just words. Where do we stand in reality? Over the past 30 years, a lot has changed. According to the Gapminder Foundation only 18 female heads of government had been in power by 1990. By 2021, there were 80.
Less than 40% of women who experience violence seek legal help.