On being an “angry” feminist

Photo by Casey Gomez

A lot of things lately have been enraging me, and yet I’m the one that looks like a jerk when I have actual feelings about these topics. In a conversation I had the other night, I spoke to someone who was “tired of being the angry feminist” and wanted to tone down their anger when it came to discussing important issues.

But why is anger such a bad thing in our society? Why can’t I be taken seriously even if I’m emotional about what’s going on?

I should be allowed to be the angry feminist, taken seriously and still maintain credibility throughout the conversation.

It is one thing if I am unable to see reason because I am blinded by my anger; it’s another thing to be completely disregarded because of my emotional investment in an issue.

When I see marginalized people being taken advantage of, I get angry. When I am treated as an object instead of as a person, I get angry. When I’m seen as lesser because of my gender, sexuality or personal views, I get angry.

I wonder what it will take for people to respect me, and when I realize this is a fight I may not be able to win, I begin to be emotional.

Things that make me emotional matter to me.

Does it scare you that I am attached to issues more deeply than just having a vague opinion on it?

Does it scare you that I may be an educated member of society, while also feeling personally involved with social issues and the happenings around me?

Does it scare you that my strong opinions cause me to be passionate, and that it may also cause me to actually do something about my anger, such as actually fight for my beliefs rather than sit idly and watch the world go by?

And remember, this is an opinions piece. In no way is it the overall opinion of the Technique as an entity, or of all women and people affiliated with the paper, but it is my opinion. And if you have something to say, I welcome you to respond.

If you want to share your own opinion, I highly recommend you write a Letter to the Editor, but don’t just let your words be empty. Fight for what you believe in, but be rational.

Trust in your people, but remember you are responsible for your own actions against

And seek knowledge, but know that our system is rigged, and that those who have felt the oppression and pain from its misgivings have a right to speak too, even if you don’t agree with what they say, which is why it is so frustrating that opposing people disregard what I say because I’m an “angry feminist.”

I will not allow my anger to devour me, and if I do, you can call me on it. But even if you don’t like what I’m saying, try to listen to me, and I’ll give you the same respect when you explain your side of the argument.

A lot of people say that angry feminists will “never find love” or “hate men,” but here’s the truth: we only hate the system that forces us to be seen as lesser than our male counterparts, a system that regularly marginalizes already oppressed communities, a system that still argues about whether or not a rapist is entitled to their victim’s body and life after the assault, a system that told me to keep quiet when I was sexually harassed every day for nine months, a system that told me “there’s nothing we can do” to prevent me from the absolute torture of men
believing that they were entitled to my body and my personhood, a system that contributes to the declining mental health of my generation and the rise of movements against fundamental civil rights of American people.

I am often met with more resistance than what I “dish out.” Even a simple polite request for someone to not be sarcastic about the modern feminist movement earns me a sneer, a rude remark and an insistence that I’m over-reacting.

Don’t tell me to “calm down” or “take a joke” when you are joking about something as serious as the acquisition of human rights and the importance of equality.

Yes, I’m angry. Because the world is full of injustice, and I feel a little helpless.

Yes, I’m angry. Because there are people who don’t feel as strongly as I do about helping people who cannot help themselves.

Yes, I’m angry. The world is a messed up place and I can’t help but to feel affected by it.

Yes, I’m angry. So why aren’t you?