Among internet-literate teenagers, gender has become the primary way to challenge the mores of older generations.

I know four journalists – London-based, middle class – whose children have announced that they do not consider themselves to be girls. And if pained teenagers are now explaining gender fluidity to their mums on the 108 from Millennium Leisure Park West, you know the idea has truly gone mainstream.

I remember the band’s needle-thin guitarist, Jimmy Page, sitting in the dark on a sofa in a corner suite at the Plaza hotel in New York City with a cadaverous David Bowie by his side, watching the same 15 minutes of Kenneth Anger’s film over and over again—with lines of cocaine on the table.

It would seem like a simple thing to do after listening to Janet Jackson's new album and looking at her new videos. Sex is obviously on her mind, on my mind, on the minds of her fans who are consuming her record in mass quantities. Her latest music is lightning and moonglow.' "You see," Janet continues, "sex isn't just fire and heat, it's natural beauty. On a psychological level, though, good sex, satisfying sex, is also linked with losing yourself, releasing, using your body to get out of your body. I love feeling deeply sexual – and don't mind letting the world know. And then suddenly I'm off to Minneapolis, and these guys, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, are running around cursing like crazy. It's taken me a while to realize – and rap has really helped educate me – that language is not an absolute. There are a couple of love songs, but the record centers on social ills.

Yet when Janet arrives at her dressing room, when she's standing before me in leather and suede form-fitting pants and tight halter top, when she slides into an easy chair next to me, I find myself backing off. "We're all sensitive people," Marvin Gaye sings in "Let's Get It On," a song that has undoubtedly influenced the current direction of Jackson's career. Up close, in the flesh, she's being so damn sincere, I question my own sincerity; Janet Jackson gives off a good-girl vibe that only a cad would challenge. For me, sex has become a celebration, a joyful part of the creative process." Janet is intrigued with the process – writing, dancing, developing concepts. "Every aspect of my recording or performance is vital," she states adamantly. "It began with she says, referring to her first hit album, made eight years ago when she was 19. That made me so uncomfortable I wanted to go home – until I saw that they meant no harm or offense. Her singing is stronger – especially her self-styled harmonies, her way of shadowing herself.

On the bus back from the cinema, a conversation drifted over from the back row.

A mother questioning, curious, her speech accented; her teenage daughter, with perfect RP, fielding her inquiries with the exasperated patience that flourishes between the ages of 13 and 21.

And just as feminists once fought for “Ms” alongside “Miss” and “Mrs”, people should be allowed to take gender out of their honorific altogether and go by “Mx”.

Getting used to “they” as a singular pronoun is harder but not impossible. However, there is more to the current Gender Revolution than upending our assumptions about the “correct” names or pronouns or hobbies or appearance for men and women.

The woman who narrates the video describes a mobile application that displays on Apple devices as “Calculator%” — anyone who picked up a device onto which the Calculator% app was downloaded would likely presume it was a simple calculator, but the video described the application’s true purpose.

Upon launching, the app opens to what looks to be (and is) a functional calculator: Private Photo (Calculator%) app is private photos and videos hidden behind calculator.

And, of course, I remember the rumors: Jimmy traveled with a suitcase full of whips.