ankwhitey:Any broad spectrum answer to this question gives the question too much credit. Women were "treated badly back in the day" for the same reasons they are treated badly currently.
Women are treated badly when they are weak, or vulnerable; and someone who is evil- or simply idiotic, decides to take advantage of that situation.
Women have no more or less power today than they ever did, although the way that power manifests itself has changed. The same is true for men. Either sex is a force to be reckoned with, and always has been.