This is a response to Vol 5 John 19 ("My Need to Argue!")...
I agree that much needed change is upon us in the area of male-female relationships. However, these winds of change have not completely blown down the trees of male dominance in our culture - and they're very unlikely to do so in your and my lifetime. Although overt patronization is not so evident these days, it still exists - especially in the lower socio-economic stratas. You should view the male-female relationships among many of the Latin and Southeast Asian groups that are recent arrivals in the U.S.
I also agree that men and women, even in the bad old days as you say, often had and have to unmask and open the doors (if I can combine metaphors to make the point). However, this is not always the case (and perhaps not usually the case). Those societal trappings don't always fall away when a man and a woman are alone - and true communication suffers.
Progress has been made in the last 40 years (half a lifetime by some reckoning). I don't think that I'm being cynical when I state that the hardest part is in front of us. But just as subtle racism is more difficult to eradicate than legal restrictions to racial equality so will the more subtle forms of sexism.