I’ve been told off by friends and family for being an angry feminist. They say that if I was less angry, people would hear what i’m saying. My response is: if I wasn’t angry hearing that old, white, ugly British men think that young Thai women like being paid to have sex with them – we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
And so I think it’s about time I explained why feminists are (often) angry.
Feminists are angry because:
Women are less likely to be employed than men, and when they are given a job – they’re paid less than a man doing the same work (see here)
Millions of women and children around the world are being bought, sold, trafficked and raped by men – who pay their pimps – right now (statistics here)
Girls are having clitoridectomies because although female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in the UK, in other countries it’s legal – and a cultural norm. It is practised illegally here too
Two women a week (in this country) are killed by abusive male partners, two million people in England and Wales suffered sexual assault, violence, threats or abuse at the hands of a partner or family member last year (see here and here)
Rape is a weapon of war (read more here)
Many young women are more concerned about the way they look than they are about their talent, skills, workplace potential and creativity. Susie Orbach’s website AnyBody has loads of interesting, enlightening, fact-filled articles about this
The prime minister thinks it’s acceptable to patronise a female MP by telling her to “calm down, dear” in the House of Commons
Feminists’ anger can:
Change laws so that women are allowed to vote. You think the suffragettes sat quietly, with their legs crossed, around a dining room table making polite pamphlets? No – they got their voices heard by protesting; demonstrating their ANGER
Start a backlash against sexist social media trolls (more here)
Provide support, a voice and a platform for women who feel they’re discriminated against (Everyday Sexism Project)
Question the Sun’s page 3, and why we’re still objectifying and sexualising women in a national paper – teaching young girls that getting your tits out is the key to success (No More Page 3)
Help to open rape crisis centres and women’s refuges for domestic violence victims
Encourage the government to educate headteachers and teachers about forced child marriage, FGM and ‘honour’-based violence so that they can recognise potential signs (see here)
Question why there’s such a narrow beauty ideal for women: thin; flawed, hairless skin; long legs; big boobs
Tell David Cameron that he should treat women with respect, rather than silently accepting his sexist remarks
Empower women to fight against workplace discrimination
But most of all, feminists’ anger gets them heard above the sexist commotion of our every day lives. Anger doesn’t have to mean violence and shouting – in this instance it means the emotion that ignites a fire inside, and a burning passion to change all that’s wrong in the world.