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.
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.
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.
5. We are angry because women in the U.S. Military are more likely to be raped by their comrades than killed in combat.
6. We are angry because women are disproportionately impoverished and uneducated and for every other reason depicted on these maps.
7. We are angry because colleges deliberately hide statistics about rape on their campuses.
8. We are angry when our religious leaders tell us that our bodies are pornographic.
9. We are angry because thousands of women are sold into sex trafficking every year.
10. We are angry because female protestors are gang-raped and intimidated into silence.
11. We are angry when a society rallies around football players, rather than around the girl they raped.
12. We are angry because a teenage girl was shot in the head for daring to advocate for female education.
13. We are angry because the media talks about women like this.
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.