This year has undoubtedly been the loudest ever for mainstream Western feminism.
The media is now fully saturated with feminists attacking and shaming anyone born with a Y chromosome, or minded to defend them.
Even interrupting is now considered to be so-called ‘mansplaining’. It’s no surprise that guys are beginning to feel unfairly punished.
The irony is that the fight for gender equality has slipped into female supremacy.
The inconvenient truth is that boys are being disadvantaged in infancy, adolescence as well as adulthood. Accusations of “male privilege” simply don’t hold water any more.
Studies show interactions which male infants have with caregivers mean their speech and language development as well as emotional development is behind that of girls; a trend which continues into schools, where boys lag behind academically.
Even in the world of work, men are discriminated against. Society has told men to “get in touch with their feminine side”, yet research suggests that workers of both sexes are more likely to comfort a female if she is upset or crying; whereas if a male were to do the same, there would be significantly less sympathy and willingness to help.
No wonder male suicides exceed that of women. Men in Western nations consistently commit suicide at far higher rates than women. Doctors are also more likely to diagnose depression in females even when males suffer identical symptoms.
One of the bestselling books of the decade was 50 Shades of Grey, the success of which emphasises the unattainable standards to which men are held by women.
Men are expected to be gallant, gentlemanly and strong; yet they must also be vulnerable. (You may also require your own helicopter and the body of an Adonis).
All the while men have fewer emotional support networks and less parity of esteem placed on public displays of that vulnerability.
Feminists are simply projecting the same pressures onto men which they say they face.
Feminism, rather than finding a balance of equality, has ended up being a discrimination swap and “male privilege” has morphed into male disadvantage.
Modern feminism has peaked. Rather than fixating on problematic movies, purging the curriculum or competitive virtue signalling, next year there are real battles for feminists to fight.
Perhaps rather struggling to “free the nipple” feminist efforts could focus on, say, the medieval treatment of women on a global scale.
In Africa and the Middle East, for example, radical Islam continues to abuse women on an unimaginable scale, with systematic rapes and bans on the education of women and girls.
Today’s feminists are at a crossroads. If they are constructive instead of confrontational, they will get fewer headlines but more results.
If not, they can shout more and achieve less for the women in the world who need feminism and the fight for equality most.
Either way, 2016 will end up looking like the high water mark for the shrill, aggressive feminism that has become so dominant and poisonous.
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