A few weeks ago an old article by Suzanne Moore hit the headlines in a big way. Seeing Red: The Power of Female Anger spoke to me in exciting ways because she wrote about the anger which seems to inhabit my core and I was so glad to not be alone. At the moment I spend a lot of my down time considering the world around me; the Twitter posts I have read before dressing, the news I have heard on the radio. I’ve always considered myself as a feminist: I’ve always wanted to vote, to have power over my body and soul. Now though, at least in recent months, things have developed for me. I have read, talked and considered enough that I am now unable to filter out the a magnitude of misogynistic words and images I am surrounded by.
Now Twitter and the world at large are bear-trap waiting for me, pushing towards me things that I really don’t want to see. From page three to jokes about domestic violence to the world is full of people pushing at the boundaries of what is acceptable, playing with feminists’ tolerances and trying to get back to a world where women were uneducated receptacles for sperm who were a dab hand with the iron and could be beaten about for getting dinner to the table late.
Many would consider the page 3s of the world tiny issues, barely worth talking about. increasingly people worry because they see it as part of the hyper-sexualising of children rather than because of the effect it has on society in general. I can imagine that even something as stomach-churning as Reeva Steenkamp’s images splashed across the tabloid press being greeted by some as a fitting tribute, or an non-issue at worst. I have plenty of friends who would say, “Sure I get feminism; I want to vote and hold property, but why sweat the small stuff?”
The point for me is that this stuff is no longer small. It has become huge anvils dropping on me throughout the day. Send out a ‘comedy’ email where the joke hinges on women being bad drivers and I can feel my mouth turning into a cartoon-line as my insides whoosh down to the ground in disappointment. I am being ground down by emails addressed to ‘Dear Sir’, by football pundits discussing how a young male player has to do his own ironing now he’s not living at home, by baby girls being described as Princess and boys as superheroes.
I’m angry now, really angry, and feeling inspired by women like these vigilantes. Perhaps it’s time to embrace the rage and change the world? I hope so, and I hope I’m not alone as at the moment I feel more powerless than ever before.