Another year has gone by and guess what? Patriarchy's still alive and kicking.
While this isn't really the sort of cheery statement you want to spend the week leading up to Christmas thinking about, our collective dislike of sexism and woman-hating has inspired countless opportunities for action, trying to change the world, and, of course, feminist rage.
Caitlin Moran's foot-in-mouth syndrome
Last year the journalist and author became what some were calling the "new face of feminism" after her memoir-cum-rant, How To Be A Woman, was published. The book itself was the subject of many a debate. Was it a feminist bible for the 21st century? No. Was it an entertaining autobiography containing mild discussion of gender inequality that actually encouraged quite a lot of women to start learning more about feminism? Pretty much. Was it kind of problematic in some of its use of language? Oh yes.
Unfortunately, 2012 hasn't been Moran's year for endearing herself to other feminists, particularly those who aren't white and middle class. There was the time she said she "literally couldn't give a shit about" the lack of women of colour in Girls. This month, she's been talking about how women walking around in high heels "alerting" rapists to their whereabouts. Twitterstorms have ensued, with other well-known feminist names and blogs taking sides and falling out.
Moran hasn't been entirely helpful by refusing to engage with critics and getting carried away with the block button. All people want is for these high-profile feminists to stop being offensive, admit when they've messed up, and not do it again.
Jimmy Savile and "Paedogeddon"
The late entertainer and former national treasure seems to have turned out to be a serial abuser of children and sexual predator, in a scandal that has rocked the BBC and shocked the country. As more arrests of Savile's contemporaries have been made (the total is now up to eight men), police have described the alleged abuse as being "on an unprecedented scale" and the number of victims as "staggering".
The rumours about Savile's interest in children had been flying around for decades and he'd even been questioned about them on numerous occasions. All of a sudden there was talk of cover-ups at the BBC, and other celebrities having "known about it for years". What the whole mess has definitely highlighted, however, is the entertainment industry's culture around sexual exploitation. One of the worst indicators of this was former Newsnight editor Peter Rippon's email regarding the decision not to broadcast an investigation into the allegations last year.
"So far our sources are just the women," he said, eliciting rage from every survivor of abuse who's spoken out only to be disbelieved or ignored. "Just the women" became shorthand for the way the media treats gender issues, and in November, the title of a report produced by four women's organisations, focusing on UK newspapers' portrayal of women, VAWG, and objectification.
The new backlash against Page 3
A target of feminist ire for decades now, the Sun's daily dose of objectification has come under fire again this year, with over 62,000 people so far signing a petition asking for "No More Page 3". Thanks to the support of celebrities and plenty of coverage in the national press, the campaign has been a major talking point and predictably, has divided opinions between those who believe Page 3 represents outdated sexism and a negative portrayal of women, and those who see the petition as prudish, "stuck up", and humourless.
Now the Leveson Report has been published, with its recommendation that "endemic sexism" and "demeaning and sexualising" stories in the media should be tackled, will we see any changes in the way the tabloids treat women and the issues that affect them?
Ched Evans, Twitter, and rape culture
Back in April, footballer Ched Evans was found guilty of raping a woman and sentenced to five years imprisonment. Following the verdict, Twitter (where else?) became the scene of victim-blaming galore as Evans's supporters used the site to condemn the woman, accusing her of lying about the rape, and being, among other things, a "money-grabbing slut".
"I hope that silly tramp gets properly raped one day," tweeted one charmer.
Worst of all, however, was the fact that some people went on to illegally name the victim. It was all a spectacular example of rape culture and misogyny, chronicled through tweets and Facebook groups. The idea that many women who report a rape are lying about it is now so ingrained in peoples' minds that it didn't take long for a mob to start waging a hate campaign. Things didn't work out in their favour, however. Seven men and three women were arrested, charged with publishing material likely to lead members of the public to identify the complainant in a rape case, and made to pay compensation to the woman in question. None of this will probably be much consolation to her, to be honest - it's been revealed that she has been given a new identity and relocation package by police after "being named more than 6,000 times".
What do Carla Bruni, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift have in common? The answer is that in 2012, all three of them admitted to being all "meh" about feminism. "We don't need to be feminist in my generation," said Bruni earlier this month. "I don't really think about things as guys versus girls," said Swift, showing more than anything that she probably doesn't really know what feminism actually is. Katy Perry, recently named Billboard's "Woman of the Year", didn't mince her words: "I am not a feminist," she said, although she added that she does "believe in the strength of women".
There is something about these moments when famous women crap all over feminism. They have that knack of really winding people up. Particularly when the women doing the crapping are particularly privileged and have spent their lives benefiting from all the things that the women's movement fought for - only to dismiss feminism as irrelevant or outdated. Various commentators went on the offensive - Camille Paglia criticised Swift's "cultivated blandness" and called Perry a "manic cyborg cheerleader".
Not everyone wanted to participate in the pile-on however. Some writers questioned why we feel this need to make famous women identify as one of the feminist gang and why journalists insist on asking them about it. Others pointed out that actually, lots of women support gender equality but don't call themselves feminists for really valid reasons, such as rejecting other prejudices they see as part of the movement. Everyone seems to be agreed on one thing, however: not agreeing with gender equality as a principle gets a huge side-eye from us all.
Hannah Mudge writes about all things news and feminism-themed for BitchBuzz, and is currently adjusting to life as a new mum. You can also read her blog, We Mixed Our Drinks or follow her tweets as @boudledidge.