Why feminists are angry


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.

7 replies on “ Why feminists are angry ”
  1. I’d challenge the idea that rape has “become” a weapon of war – it always has been, sadly. That’s not to excuse it, but talking like it’s a new development is disingenuous.

  2. Thanks for saying it. I’m angry. For all the reasons above. I was told last week in a gender workshop that if I were less angry I would get more done and people would listen to me. I actually think the anger is very useful and I’m holding on to it. Good to know I’m not alone.

  3. AMEN to that! Short but very efficient article that sums my own situation (and that of thousands of other feminists) very well. I’m sharing this!
    I am also being told off by family and friends that I’m too angry, to which I always reply, if you knew what I know, if you’d open your eyes on what is happening, ‘angry’ is the least state you’d find yourself into. That is why it takes COURAGE to be a feminist, because you’re doing a job that very few people want to do!
    Anger is what makes me want to fight harder everytime. Although sometimes it is overwhelming and I feel like I need a break.
    But anyway, thanks again for your article, it always helps to know we’re not alone in this situation.

  4. If only people realized that usually the opposite response to anger is just plain apathy. There is an anger that is destructive, that we are all capable of with disregard to age and gender that may spring from all sorts of hurts and abuses and causes us to lash out unjustly at others for our pain. But there is also a righteous anger that will not allow inequality and evil to continue and prevail. That is what I believe you are experiencing and seeing in yourself and the many organizations you have listed above. Apathy and acceptance of the status quo has changed very little in history but some rousing indignation and positive action have changed many things in our world. I am encouraged by this coming generation and the way many of you are seeing things for what they are and speaking out. Stand firm and be encouraged, Annie. I think all decent humans will look back with gratitude as women take their rightful, respected and complete place in society and the world.

  5. From my observations, both men and women suffer day to day. Yes it’s idiotic and damaging to plaster the tall skinny big boob ‘ideal women’ all over world in advertisements and the like, but you know this is not in service or even because of men alone right? It’s men and women. Both fucking up in their own ways. What we need to do is remember that we’re equal but different. Not men and women are different, but that femininity and masculinity are different energies which can inhabit both male and female bodies at different levels (I’m in touch with both my masculine and feminine for instance). We need to remember that we are all one. With the Earth, with each other. We didn’t come TO the Earth, but OUT of it. So why be angry at your brothers and sisters so consistently? It’s love and support they need, as well as a shift in consciousness.

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