Sophie Heawood: We love you for more than your pollen, chaps

Our writer savours modern life just as it is, for both sexes
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The Independent Online

As I lay half-naked on a sun-lounger in Ibiza this week, I thought a lot about sperm. Flicking through the newspaper, I learnt that breakthroughs in synthetic man-milk have made the future of the less-fair sex less, erm, fair. Like the family on EastEnders who find the scriptwriters mysteriously moving them "up north" until their further usefulness to the plot can be established, gents will soon find themselves surplus to society's requirements.

At least, that was the suggestion. It's rubbish, of course – women love men for more than their pollen. Chaps, we know that you are people, not gonad donors. But, I must admit, now women have come so far, that it is hard not to want to exploit you just a teeny little bit. Indeed, the lovely beach bar where I lounged belongs to my friend Mandy, a hugely successful businesswoman who seems to run half of Ibiza. She only employs waiters who are disgustingly attractive, and oh I tried to disapprove.

But as yet another glistening hunk crushed ice into my Mojito, it proved hard not to reflect that the bit of third-wave feminism where women become as exploitative as men was really working out quite well for me.

For those of us not stuck under the Taliban, there has never been a better time to be a woman. This month's Vogue, for example, has a feature on how the new wave of political activists are bright young women. "This is our time to speak out," says one. Berlusconi couldn't get his wife to help host the G8 summit because she's finally told him and his philandering ways to stuffo offo.

The pop charts, especially, are full of females like never before, and no, they're not all over-produced products of a masculine music agenda.

Elly Jackson of La Roux is androgynous, with her shrill, high voice, big shoulders and long trousers, wearing make-up as warpaint, not cover-up. She's got to number one without taking her clothes off. Fans tell her it's so encouraging to see somebody up there who doesn't dress like they are made to feel girls should.

Lily Allen complains in song about how her rubbish ex made her lie in the wet patch after she'd spent ages giving head. And Lady Gaga, who started off looking like a scantily-clad attention-seeker, now turns out to be a classical pianist who's taking over the pop world with odd videos where she parades past the paparazzi in a wheelchair.

Katy Perry, who topped the charts here and in America by singing about kissing a girl and liking it, has just had her outrageous costumes confiscated by Turkish customs. (Perhaps they were mistaken for livestock, or investigated by the fashion police.)

Beyoncé's recent stadium tour was the most extraordinary show I've ever seen – every moment an exploration of gender, whether she was belting out that "a diva is a female version of a hustler" or her song "If I Were a Boy", or introducing the audience to the all-woman band that she had specially chosen, "because it's important to me to support other women" (to huge cheers). Those musicians then indulged in lengthy drum and guitar solos.

Then there's a new American R&B group called Electrik Red – made up of four women who sing: "I wonder if you know the truth – y'all don't fuck us, we fuck you".

Someone asked me the other day if I find it hard being a journalist in such a sexist industry. I just had to laugh. Thanks to the massive efforts made by past generations and the legislation that went before me, I can't say I've ever encountered any sexism.

Sexism schmexism – we're having a ball. Or should that be balls?