The second wave of feminism, rather than having crashed onto the shore, is still far out to sea, slowly and inexorably gathering momentum. None of us who are alive today will witness more than the first rumbles of the coming social upheaval. Middle-class western women have the privilege of serving the longest revolution, not of directing it. The ideological battles that feminists are engaged in are necessary, but they are preliminary to the emergence of female power, which will not flow decorously out from the universities or from the consumerist women’s press. Female power will rush upon us in the persons of women who have nothing to lose, having lost everything already. It could surge up in China where so many women divorced for bearing girl children are living and working together, or in Thailand, where prostitution and AIDS are destroying a generation, in Iran or anywhere else where women are on a collision course with Islamic fundamentalism, or anywhere the famished laborer sees luxury foods for the western market grown on the land which used to provide for her and her children. And the women of the rich world had better hope that when female energy ignites they do not find themselves on the wrong side.
–Germaine Greer, The Whole Woman, 1999