Boobs. Boobs everywhere, is how I remember the culture of the late 90s and early Naughties.

Looking back, it was a noxious era to be moving from girl to young womanhood but at the time it didn't feel particularly out of sorts because, of course, we had nothing to compare it to.

Russell Brand, to little professed surprise, given his tediously misogynistic back catalogue, has been accused of sexual assaults and abuse of several women - all allegations he strenuously denies.

In the wake of the revelations, much retrospection is underway about the culture of the time of Brand's heyday.

READ MORE: TikTok trends like Hot Girl Summer mask girls' unhappiness

There's arguments being made that it was the most corrosively sexist time to be a young woman and certainly I'd struggle to dig you up any positives.

Culturally, it was a weird juxtaposition of lad and ladette culture that both complimented and contradicted one another.

The tabloids put on a show of despising women, even or especially the Sun, despite having, at the time, its first female editor.

Women and, particularly, young girls were sexualised and objectified in the most unashamed ways, reducing women to nothing but nipples and knickers.

Press photographers lay on ground outside a venue to try to take photos up the skirt of the actress Emma Watson on her 18th birthday; there was a countdown clock leading to Charlotte Church's 16th.

There was a gross media obsession with teenaged Britney Spears's virginity.

Newspapers and lads' mags were obsessed with women's breasts. The news racks of any corner store or supermarket were lined with women's racks.

These boys didn't appreciate being contradicted. It was, remarkably, only in 2015 that The Sun ditched P3 as a result of three years of concerted feminist campaigning but the paper went down fighting spitefully.

READ MORE: Disobedience is a fine quality to value in children 

It allowed its sister title, the Times, to publish a story proclaiming the end of P3, allowed women to celebrate victory and then, two days later, published a topless model under Clarifications and Corrections.

The nearly-naked P3 images were less of an issue than how they were framed; each woman appeared with a sarcastically high-brow speech bubble next to them, a sarcastic suggestion that comely women could not also be smart.

These attitudes pervaded. I remember in my first job (I was just turning 17) being encouraged to come to work in my school uniform by my much older male colleagues.

Objectification was the norm from school peers. In our sixth year common room the boys ranked all the girls out of 10 and put the results on the noticeboard. (I largely remember this because I was marked a four).

You were encouraged to be flattered by the attention. Now, such harassment is criticised. If a man at a bus stop tells you to smile, you can tell him to f-off.

I've had long discussions with friends about some of the things in that era that - I was going to say "happened to us", but "done to us" is more correct. There are definitely things that were seen as acceptable at the time that now would be viewed as assault or rape.

Yet Ladette culture was flourishing. We looked up to Britney and saw her torn apart while, at the same time, the Spice Girls were pinching bums, falling over drunk and Denise van Outen was flashing her boobs at Prince Charles.

We were told that women were finally liberated and could drink as hard, shag as hard and party as consequence-free as men. What a lie.

Of course there were feminists speaking out against of all this but some of us were too young or too otherwise influenced to notice. Besides, we were told they were anti-sex, jealous, mirthless. Smile, love, the worst thing you could be was a prude.

This is all talked about as if it was the dark ages but it's so fresh, so recent. Which is why the accelerated speed at which campaigns such as #MeToo, the Everyday Sexism Project and No More P3 is so impressive.

READ MORE: Why Paisley will be to Glasgow what Brooklyn is to Manhattan

Outrageous culture has moved swiftly to outrage culture and now there is fury at revelations about men who allegedly behave in the way Brand has.

At the same time, damaging tropes, repeatedly disproved, still persist. Why didn't she speak out sooner? Why didn't she go to the police?

Reporting a sexual assault to the police involves a process that is re-traumatising for survivors and often pointless - only 1% of rape reports result in the perpetrator being charged, prosecuted and found guilty. An ordeal unlikely to end in a positive outcome.

Yet it is hard to keep silent at an injustice, especially when it risks an abuser perpetrating yet more crimes. Speaking to the media, not the police, makes sense.

The decision to go to the press is used as an excuse to defend the man involved, and men always find supporters in these situations because we still live in a sexist and misogynistic that is nowhere near as evolved as those condemning the Naughties as outdated dark ages might have us believe.

Dispatches, the Channel 4 investigations team, released a clip of Brand on his former BBC2 show encouraging a 15-year-old girl to have a sex party for her 16th. He had an audience for this kind of content. There is still an audience for that kind of content.

There is, for example, a Scottish comedian-cum-football pundit who posted a video to Instagram recently of himself making a joke about a footballer having sex with a 15-year-old. These jokes can still be made with the expectation of being well received.

There are men who struggle with the concept of women's equality and find it a relief - a safety valve of sorts - when they have the excuse to indulge themselves just a little in the nastier things.

Brand's ex-girlfriend Jordan Martin told the Daily Mail in 2015 how he had allegedly abused and coercively controlled her. "If these politicians knew what I knew about Russell," she had said, "then perhaps they wouldn't be so quick to latch on to him". What naive optimism.

Victims are still disbelieved and double standards still abound. Brand uses his "swordsmanship" in his defence; women who accuse men of sexual violence are written off as promiscuous.

There is hardly strength in numbers either. It's easier to believe the one person who says he was really nice, actually, than the multiple women who tell a more complicated story.

READ MORE: My 25 year love affair with American rock band the Eels

Just before the Brand story broke, actor Danny Masterton was jailed in the US for raping two women. His TV co-stars Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis wrote character statements in his defence, for which they subsequently apologised.

Questions are being asked about how TV executives and those on the inside could have stood back and permitted Brand's behaviour but sexual assault is as good as socially sanctioned: low conviction rates, institutional misogyny, high profile supporters.

The surprise is when men do not get away with it.

At each of these high-profile stories the narrative always rolls round to "what can be done?" In this case, calls have been made to raise the age of consent from 16 to stop older men, like Brand, dating girls.

This kneejerk response would be unworkable and, again, absolves men of responsibility. We don't need to change the age of consent, we need men to consider their actions.

In all of this there is repetition. Each fresh #MeToo-style scandal is a new go at old themes while sexism continues. Today's young men are wooed by toxic social media influencers; trans rights activism has given certain men on the left a relished excuse to shout at women and still call themselves good guys.

It's time to focus, now that we know the volume of complaints, on how to deal with them: how to develop a compassionate and effective justice system is most vital.

Misogyny is not on its deathbed, it merely morphs into something new.