not in Primary anymore

why feminists are so angry

Guest post by Victoria Birkbeck

One of the most common adjectives to be applied to feminists as a group is “angry.” This perception of the group as “angry” leads some people to not want to identify themselves as feminists and others dismissive of feminist arguments.

However, I have to wonder why anger should make a group’s arguments invalid, their concerns unimportant, or their cause not worth supporting. Because I for one, find that there are plenty of things in this world worth being angry about, and many of them have to do with the oppression of women.

As Mahatma Gandhi said,

“Anger is like electricity in some ways. Electricity can be very useful if we use it intelligently. But it can be just as deadly if we abuse it. So it is a matter of channeling electricity intelligently so that it makes life better. It is the same with your anger.”

So, for those of you who might wonder what feminists are so angry about, here are just a few reasons:

1. We are angry because women who speak out online are threatened with violence and rape.

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2. We are angry because millions of women are missing from the population due to female infanticide and abortion of female fetuses.

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3. We are angry because the U.S. congress took a year and a half to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which protects women from domestic abuse.

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4. We are angry when our peers take creeper shots of our knees and tell us how we should dress like it’s any of their business.

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5. We are angry because women in the U.S. Military are more likely to be raped by their comrades than killed in combat.

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6. We are angry because women are disproportionately impoverished and uneducated and for every other reason depicted on these maps.

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7. We are angry because colleges deliberately hide statistics about rape on their campuses.

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8. We are angry when our religious leaders tell us that our bodies are pornographic.

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9. We are angry because thousands of women are sold into sex trafficking every year.

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10. We are angry because female protestors are gang-raped and intimidated into silence.

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11. We are angry when a society rallies around football players, rather than around the girl they raped.

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12. We are angry because a teenage girl was shot in the head for daring to advocate for female education.

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13. We are angry because the media talks about women like this.

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In light of all of these reasons (along with many others), my response has to be, “Why aren’t YOU angry?”

The oppression of women is the single largest and most persistent tragedy the human race has ever faced and is well worth being angry about. Feminists believe that together, we can end this tragedy. But it’s going to take some anger.

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21 Responses to “why feminists are so angry”

  1. Lydia Nelson

    Um. Okay, first, Victoria, this is excellent! I love it! I just have one question. I’m not disagreeing with you on this, but I just want a little more explanation (I’ve never thought of this concept before). The talk by Elder Oaks… how is he saying our bodies are pornographic?

    Reply
    • hannahwheelwright

      “And young women, please understand that if you dress immodestly, you are magnifying this problem by becoming pornography to some of the men who see you.”

      Reply
      • A Guy

        But is Elder Oaks saying that you yourself are pornographic, or that wearing immodest clothing can open up the door for a man to start thinking pornographic thoughts about you? He isn’t saying that you are pornography, he’s saying that in the man’s mind, he is making you out to be something pornographic. Elder Oaks isn’t condemning women by any means. He’s just letting you know that men have a greater tendency to gravitate toward bad thoughts, and immodest clothing can be an avenue to stimulating those bad thoughts. There’s a reason God has asked us to be modest in our appearance. That goes for men as well, not just women.

      • Anonymous

        I remember friends talking about a young boy who pointed at a young women and exclaimed, “that’s walking pornography.” I was so angry that women’s bodies are considered pornography and that a young boy believed this to be true. Never mind that men were not addressed by Elder Oaks.

  2. Victoria

    So, the way that I feel about that quote (and modesty doctrine in general) is that it comes out of an idea that women’s bodies are inherently sexual, and they must be covered up to hide their sexiness. I find that really objectifying, and in that way I read the quote as saying that our natural bodies are inherently pornographic.

    Reply
    • Lydia Nelson

      Got it. That makes perfect sense. I agree with you. Haha when I read the article I read all but like the last two paragraphs, which explains why I was missing something. My bad.

      Reply
  3. T.

    I understand the righteous anger, and obviously in many instances it is deserved. But that is such a gross misunderstanding of Elder Oaks’ quote. I once had a young women’s leader tell me that girls would think I was gross if I wore my pants halfway down. Should I interpret her as saying that all men’s bodies are inherently gross and disgusting? Obviously not. Same goes for Elder Oaks’ quote. The world is a messed up place and wherever you go there are perverts who objectify women’s bodies. Is that the fault of the women? No. Is that the way it should be? Definitely not. But it doesn’t do us any good to pretend that it doesn’t happen.

    Reply
  4. A guy

    Don’t be sacrilegious criticizing an apostle. Those that openly criticizes the prophet or the apostles lose their credibility for the rest of their point.

    Reply
    • Darryl Reid

      Sorry, but that is a logical fallacy. You can’t say that just because she criticized a leader her whole argument is invalid (appeal to authority etc.)

      Why can’t we criticize church leaders when they say sexist/ignorant comments? Are we in a cult? Is this Stalinist Russia? How should we react when ignorance is taught over the pulpit to millions of members? Church leaders need to be held accountable for their mistakes, and if you say they don’t make mistakes then you are saying they are infallible which is as false a doctrine as there ever has been. Also as a non-believer am I not allowed to criticize church leaders? Must I accommodate your inability to call out ignorance? Fascistic following of leaders has cause the church more harm the good ( the prop 8 debacle to just name one) in its history, because members are unwilling to believe that these men can make really glaring mistakes.

      If you didn’t like the post then explain why using sound logic, don’t use a tired cliché.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      Wait, it’s sacrilegious to criticize a human being? It’s usually considered sacrilegious to criticize God, but not a human being.

      I hope sacrilegious isn’t the word you’re looking for. Unless President Oaks is God.

      Reply
    • Justin Bosley

      Agreed. If a person doesn’t follow the religious leader, then he is not his/her leader. He is just a religious guy that you are criticizing.

      Reply
  5. Jennifer

    “And young women, please understand that if you dress immodestly, you are magnifying this problem by becoming pornography to some of the men who see you.” It seems that Elder Oaks is saying that not ALL men will see you as pornography, but even if SOME men might, then I need to be worried about what SOME men, somewhere, think about how I dress.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have 3 daughters from middle school to college age. I know that some men are Cretins. Some men are good guys. Most men are interested in the female body, and if there’s an opportunity to look, they’re going to look. If my daughters or I don’t want to worry about a man or boy looking at our breasts or legs or shoulder then we can cover that body part up. As a mother, I’m fine if men and boys don’t get a good look at my daughters’ breasts. But good heavens! WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT MEN THINK!!!!! Even if I cover every inch of my skin and wear a loose fitting robe, I’m still unable to guarantee that a man isn’t thinking pornographic thoughts about me. I’m I still to blame for those thoughts simply because I’m a woman?

    Also, this isn’t exactly my proudest moment, but I viewed some pornography in my youth. (Wait. I thought only men looked at porn.) A scantily clad woman is NOT pornography.

    Reply
  6. Sic of the bullshit and lies

    I seriously think that the I.Q collectively here must be about a six maybe seven if you push. What the actual fuck? Everything you describe has happened and still does happen to men. Men are shot for speaking out men are raped by both men and women. Men are criticised far more harshly than women and I really think this is just another we hate men blargh.

    Feminism has no need in this world because to focus on one whilst excluding the other is disgusting. Humanists are what we need, men and women in 3rd world countries are tortured raped and murdered not just by men but by anyone with power. It isn’t a gender thing it is a money thing. I am 100% for women equality in 3rd world countries you already have equality.

    Also how fucking dare you have the nerve to stand there and say that women suffering is the worst thing in the world because that is incredibly sexiest as well as arrogant. I think the genocide waged against the Jews during WW2, the twin towers, terrorism women and MEN being dragged from there homes by the Russian secret police, the countless school massacres are infinite worse than your pathetic whining and bitching than men have it out for you. We don’t hate women we hate un-likeable bitter cunts like yourself that try to pass it off as a gender thing.

    Men love women they are our other half’s in most cases, friends soul mates girlfriends wife’s and whilst some get the shitty stick men get it equally bad. Hell Most don’t have a problem with most stuff be you gay, man women transsexual what ever.

    I hate how you say women in the sex trade and women domestic abuse but you fail to mention about men who are also forced and suffer from these. If you want equality get your finger out your arse and stop playing the victim.

    If we really wanted to oppress we would beat your ass for daring to speak out of turn or putting this shit on the internet. If you were truly oppressed then rape would not be treated with the seriousness it is.

    Women and men in 3rd world countries are oppressed they are suffering and dying from illnesses we cured decades ago as well as suffering at tyrants hands what do you struggle with. Some ass hole called me a slut or took a creepy picture well everyone look at the suffering these poor first world country women are suffering some dick called her a slut what is this world coming to where a man would insult a women. I mean its not like men call other men dicks cunts retards and fuckers and women call them pussies not real men and faggots! Obviously due to you being a women it means that you cant take insults and have to be seen as strong but at the same time given all the special privileges that come with being women.

    But we all know that you know you are not oppressed. You just want more power. Rape culture bullshit women make up over 40% of the rapists! less money equally bullshit. The money statistics are all the men and women in america and combine the money then see the average difference. The reason seem to make more is because they are mostly not tied down with child bearing/ rearing. Also some of the richest people in the world are male so it is not surprising that the money difference tilts in male favour. Did you know that Scotland had female leaders around the time of the Romans? So don’t come off with shite that I am sexiest or the generic regurgitated crap that you spew.

    Please by all mean argue I love a good fight but just a warning you will lose even if you get all your feminists friends to gang up I will beat your ass with knowledge and credible sources of information and not the feminists page on Wikipedia and yahoo that you seem to gain most of these facts from not including the fact that some seem to be from your own bias opinion.

    So do what ever call me a troll call me a pig, hell remove this post if you want, all you will be doing is strengthening my point. You demand we treat you on equal footing (which we do) yet when that means also dealing with the hard stuff you pussy out like cowards and play the we are women card. Well you have a choice special privileges or dealing with the same shit we deal with!

    Reply
  7. Justin Bosley

    “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.” -Mahatma Ghandi

    “Speak when you are angry and you will give the best speech you will ever regret.” -Ambrose Bierce

    Holding on to anger is like grasping onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who get’s burnt.” – Buddha

    “People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.” – Stephen Hawking

    “When you are offended at any man’s faults, turn to yourself and study your own failings, then you will forget your anger.” – Epictetus

    “Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.” – Benjamin Franklin

    “I allow no man to belittle my soul to make me hate him.” – Booker T. Washington

    “Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man [or woman] who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before – it takes something from him. – Louis L’Amour

    “May the Lord bless you and inspire you to walk without anger, without bitterness of any kind, but to reach out to others with expressions of friendship, appreciation, and love. This is my humble prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

    “I would like to make it clear that forgiveness of sins should not be confused with tolerating evil. In fact, in the Joseph Smith Translation, the Lord said, “Judge righteous judgment.” The Savior asks us to forsake and combat evil in all its forms, and although we must forgive a neighbor who injures us, we should still work constructively to prevent that injury from being repeated. A woman who is abused should not seek revenge, but neither should she feel that she cannot take steps to prevent further abuse.

    The Savior said, “Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.” 5

    This is not to say that forgiveness is easy. When someone has hurt us or those we care about, that pain can almost be overwhelming. It can feel as if the pain or the injustice is the most important thing in the world and that we have no choice but to seek vengeance. But Christ, the Prince of Peace, teaches us a better way. It can be very difficult to forgive someone the harm they’ve done us, but when we do, we open ourselves up to a better future. No longer does someone else’s wrongdoing control our course. When we forgive others, it frees us to choose how we will live our own lives. Forgiveness means that problems of the past no longer dictate our destinies, and we can focus on the future with God’s love in our hearts.” – David E. Sorensen

    Reply

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