Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Angry Feminist.

Once again the word 'feminist' has been hitting the headlines in a positive light due to another talented celebrity using her power of influence to normalise the name of the movement. Emma Watson formally invited all men to join in the fight for equality as UN ambassador for women. After pointing out 'feminism' had collected a number of very negative connotations in the past decades she then continued to eloquently disparage all of this negativity around the word. The world sighed with relief again as somebody else successfully spread the word of equality and took the movement up a notch. Maybe, we all thought, this really will happen someday.

But why has a belief in feminism, which seems beneficial to everyone involved, become such a scornful phrase? There are many interweaving factors to this degradation of the word, yet one aspect we probably should take time to review would be the self-destructive quality that feminism can sometimes create. The 'angry feminist' stereotype is most likely quite a discouraging feature of feminism, and one that should be discussed and then discredited. You could argue that the angry feminist is just a belittling term used by men who still call women 'hysterical' when they display any emotion that isn't blissful ignorance. Women have spent years being silenced (and still are) so it's probably about time they screamed out to the world to tell it to go to its room until it understands what it's done. Also when you identify yourself as a feminist it's very difficult to understand how people can think differently to wanting equality so jumping at any poor sod who doesn't quite comprehend the word and demanding to know their reasons for not being feminist is easy to do. It is a bit like banging your head against a brick wall constantly when suddenly informed about the many injustices of the world and so not getting hysterically angry is really, really, really hard.

However, when we want people to be on our side responding rapidly to 'anti-feminists' with pitchforks and fires is possibly not the best move. Perhaps women who aren't certain about feminism are often intimidated by those of us who can quickly heat up when faced with yet another obstacle. It is not a question of not ever getting angry because not only would that be impossible but also completely pointless, it is more a way of responding to the little things with patience and agreeableness.

By all means get really irate and mad and furious at the inequality in the world to inspire the change it needs. But when someone smirks if you say you are a feminist because they fail to understand the meaning outside of its almost comical stereotype then whatever you do stay calm. It's arduous to be faced with this ignorance daily, but no one ever helps themselves by indulging a cliché.

If you haven't already, give Emma a watch because she really is spectacular: