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The solutions to many of these problems have to do with legislation, litigation, and government action. Let’s go down the list:

Domestic violence and sexual assault need to be better prosecuted and investigated. Discriminatory school dress codes should be found unconstitutional. Restrictive abortion laws should be struck down (some of that is already happening, and more is hopefully coming soon). Equal pay can be required by legislation or regulation, as can transparency to monitor whether it is working. The EEOC can establish better procedures to deal with and encourage sexual harassment complaints. The tampon tax can be abolished, and probably soon will be. Mass incarceration can be fixed by changing drug laws and better enforcing allegations of racial bias in policing. Disparate treatment of public school students based on race can be fixed with class action lawsuits and/or regulatory investigation. Procedures can be put in place to investigate and prosecute social media harassment.

But many of the things I listed cannot be fixed through government action — rape culture, the success/likability double bind, unequal allocation of respect and responsibility in families, street harassment, etc. To fix those problems, we need a culture shift. And the first stage in shifting a culture is making people aware that these are real issues, and convincing them that the status quo is intolerable and has to be changed. People who passively participate in rape culture or have unequal marriages need to be made to understand that these things are not ok, either by reading about it or by hearing about it from a friend who has recently decided they need to say something. And how does that happen? People get angry, and they start talking about how there is injustice.

In other words, the first concrete step to making a cultural shift is what I urged people to do — get angry, and decide things have to change.

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