One thing to always remember is that feminism requires constant effort just to avoid moving backward. We aren’t in a steady state regarding feminism, and despite the myth of progress there is nothing natural about how we have organized our society. Feminists know this and therefore never stop working, refining and reinforcing their efforts. For nearly everyone else most of these efforts have become a sort of background noise. If you’ve ever tried out a good pair of noise canceling headphones on an airplane you know that background noise, even if quite loud, is impossible to really hear after a very short period unless you have the ability to at least temporarily filter it out.
The same thing happens with feminism, where we often can hear the loud clanging as a new piece of machinery comes online. What we don’t tend to hear anymore is the cacophony of all of the existing machinery in the background.
The conservative position is to conserve the roar of background noise while complaining about the clanging. Thus when feminist efforts start to bear fruit conservatives inevitably complain about weak men screwing feminism up. This is of course a great boost to feminism, but ultimately having an “opposition” group that forever stands ready to make your every innovation permanent after a brief period of complaining isn’t enough. Conservatives have their place in conserving feminism, but by themselves they aren’t enough. Feminists need to excite and motivate younger generations to constantly push for more. If they don’t entropy will have its way, despite the best efforts of conservatives. This is where the background hum effect ultimately starts to hurt feminists as well. Each new generation of would be feminists takes feminists and conservatives at their word, that we have reached (or nearly reached) the natural state of humanity. Where is the excitement, where is the glory, in “blazing” an established trail?
Young girls will watch commercials like the one above and will grow up to be bossy women. They will even congratulate themselves on how extraordinary they are for being a woman who is pushy and controlling. But feminism is being presented to them as a largely completed project. Sure they will constantly complain that the whole world is stacked against them, even while basking in their personal triumph over the patriarchy. But more and more they will ask what is the point of showing that women can do what other women have already shown women can do, especially as the inevitable costs of decades of previous feminism show up.