Here's something infuriating, get ready.
I was on the skytrain heading home yesterday and had the unfortunate view of a drunk and sleazy man making vulgar remarks at several women. This fucking clown was THE slime ball of the century, not only was he completely insufferably obvious while ogling these women, he also very vocal and made kissing noises and various disgusting facial expressions. The situation was an example of power imbalance. The women looked beyond uncomfortable, they looked extremely distressed and perhaps felt very vulnerable too (I know I would). They tried their hardest to keep composure and exited the vehicle as fast as possible when it was their stop.
Without getting too deep into the social significance of this whole thing, I think we can all agree that this is just another example of how some men feel that they are entitled to treat women however they see fit. (ie. with less respect thus as less than them) At the same time, some women perpetuate this inequality by not only submitting themselves to the subjugation of men but also broadcast such beliefs externally, unto other women. Thus, we (women) are disadvantaged by two sets of taken-for-granted assumptions which does not help the cause of equality at all.
I, in the past, have been criticized by other fellow feminists as "contradictory" and "victim blaming" (victims being the women who are discriminated against) because my notions can sometimes seem a bit harsh towards women. My defence is usually that I hate to see women as victims of patriarchal circumstances and by seeing woman as the people who have been subjected to sexism and unfairness sort of implies that "that's just the way it is, we women are always the passive recipients of the shitty end of the bargain". To that I say "FUCK THAT" because whenever I hear anybody (men and women) talking about anything with any a shred of gender undertone, I tell always say to them, "it doesn't have to be that way, gender roles are the status quo, yes, but it doesn't have to be." Thus I try to change as much of our societal expectations as possible, starting at the most basic level by rejecting everything coloured by gender rather than sex. To subvert gender, I believe both men and women are responsible but since most gender stereotypes hold more negative standards about women, women need to work extra hard to reverse them. This means, by only defending ourselves against external sexism coming from others is not enough, we also need to recognize our own schemas of gender and reverse them. That is usually the hardest part but it can be done.