Why shouldn’t feminists be angry?

I don’t want to be one of those angry feminists.

I hear this a lot. It’s inevitably followed by “I don’t want to be one of those man-hating feminists.”

Heck, I’ve said it myself on numerous occasions. As Glosswitch so eloquently wrote, online feminism has become a frightening place. Any deviation from what is considered “acceptable” results in abuse; any questions deemed inappropriate result in threats.

We preface our statements with “I’m not one of those” as a desperate attempt to prevent ourselves from being targeted for abuse from women who claim to be feminists; from being attacked, harassed and violated by violent men. We hide our anger and we hide our fear lest we be the next target.

Glosswitch wrote about a feminism free of fear: the ability to change our minds, to question, to debate without worrying about the response from abusers.

I want a feminism where we don’t have to apologise for our anger.

I want a feminism where we are proud of anger.

A feminism where we can stand up and shout.

A feminism where rage  is considered a gift.

We live in a world where 1 in 5 women between the ages of 16 – 59 have experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16.

Where 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence.

Where street harassment is a daily experience for women.

Where rape jokes are considered normal.

Where 2 women a week are murdered by their current or former partners.

We live in a world where our girls aren’t safe in school from male violence perpetrated by their classmates and their teachers.

We live in a world where women get thousands of rape and death threats for believing that the Bank of England should be held accountable to government legislation.

We live in a world where harassment and stalking is considered “activism” for women who don’t toe the party line.

I’m proud to be an Angry Feminist.

I’m proud to be an Angry Feminist who knows the difference between righteous anger and personal attacks.

Because this is the problem: far too many confuse personal attacks with righteous anger which frightens others into keeping silent and hiding their anger.

Anger can be a truly beautiful thing when directed at the right target.

We need to be proud of anger but we also need to stop confusing harassment and abuse with anger.

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