Gen Z embraced The Rise Of The New Age Bimbo, Barbie Is This Generations’ Feminist Movement , Girl Trends Are Everywhere from “girl dinner” and “girl math”, and cooking and baking are back in vogue (think: peak girlhood icon Lisa Franks’ sold-out collab with Pillsbury for ready-to-bake unicorn cookies). The mantra is clear: Women should express themselves however they damn please, rejecting a one-size-fits-all stereotype. 

Whether donning head-to-toe pink or rejecting the narrative we need to follow traditional male paths to success - all women deserve respect and the opportunity to thrive as their authentic selves. 

Yet, despite a shift in cultural attitudes, VICE Insight’s global study, "The Future of Feminism," reveals deep-rooted gender stereotypes persist.

Gender Discrimination - The Hard Truth

Among respondents, 50% believe social standing is tied primarily to gender identity. For women, gender stands in third place among factors considered disadvantageous, with mental health and body size claiming the top two spots. For male respondents, gender discrimination ranked last at number 18.

Everyday Battlefields: Home, Work, and Culture 

Gender bias permeates every facet of life for women. 71% feel unheard by healthcare providers, rising to 90% for non-binary individuals and 79% for black women. Work is no sanctuary, with 77% of women facing microaggressions, reaching 84% for non-binary individuals, 82% for black women, and 86% for Indian women. Adding to the concern, 74% of women feel undervalued in their professional roles, while this sentiment is even more pronounced at 78% among black women and 82% among Indian women. For example, recent campaigns, like Heineken’s “The Social Swap” when Gary Neville and Jill Scott secretly swapped X accounts, brought the gender bias in football again to public attention, underscoring a pervasive sentiment that women “just shouldn’t comment on it”.

Sectors Under The Microscope 

In traditionally male-dominated sectors, change is finally underway. In healthcare, there’s a reevaluation of research to better encompass female physiology, and we’re smashing taboos surrounding women’s health. 37% of those surveyed asked for candid discussions about menstruation and menopause—a call amplified by 42% among Generation Z women. Brands like Modibodi are tackling this taboo, using TikTok to launch "I'm Dying Inside," a drama that captures Gen Z's take on menstruation with a mix of authenticity and entertainment. 

Women’s esports have long taken a backseat in competitive gaming, but appetite is changing. Top esports organisations invest in all-women rosters, and brands like Procter & Gamble's Tampax and Always launched the Astral Clash tournament series to support female-identifying and nonbinary gamers. Burberry stepped up with an educational series and a scholarship for women in a bid to highlight the lack of inclusivity.

No matter the sector, we demand equality - not just for women but everyone.

The F-Word Became Dirty

Just as we’re agreeing there’s no right way to be a woman, youth demand feminism to follow suit. 82% of the young women declared: “Feminism needs to represent a more diverse group of women, and 73% said: “Feminism needs to represent a more diverse group of gender identity (e.g., transgender community, queer community). Feminism needs to be steered into a more welcoming terrain or risk alienating the next generation - with just 33% of our audience openly identifying as feminists.

The call is out - help us shatter gender stereotypes, embrace diversity, and pave the way for a new era of unapologetic women being whoever they want and getting rights, equal pay and respect in the process.

Follow this hot link to download our full report, "The Future of Feminism”. 

Image credit: Photographed by Flora Maclean.