At the moment, here in the UK at least, it sometimes feels like we’re living in a time warp. Suddenly, the gender pay gap is front page news again. Undergraduate students are getting agitated about the gendered division of domestic labour and presenting papers about how their mothers (born in the 1970s) have had to sacrifice their chances for careers to look after their children. Like their mothers before them, these students are struggling to see their way forward, knowing that they should be able to ‘balance’ work life with having a family, but having little idea how to do this. At the same time, thousands and thousands of women, and some men, are testifying to their experiences of endemic sexual harassment at work and in public spaces online. Everyday sexism has been documented in minute detail and survivors – both well-known and not – have come forward to accuse perpetrators at the highest levels of society of unacceptable and violent behaviour.
Feminism, to put it bluntly, despite having been so powerful, sometimes seems to have achieved so little. There is so much complex work left to do. So, what might STS do to contribute?