I am an angry feminist

I am an angry feminist. I am an angry feminist because I am told to shut up. Because I am German, I am white, I study in Amsterdam. Shortly, I am a white, middle-class girl with good education. So, people (and predominantly men) ask me ‘what are you complaining about?’. ‘There is equality between men and women in Europe.’ ‘Feminism is over.’ ‘Feminists are just men-hating bitches who are too ugly to get a man.’ Or ‘Feminists just need a good fuck to get over it.’ And other similar statements. Those statements come by far not from uneducated men, no, even male students commenting on the fact that our university is planning a women’s week come up with such intellectual impressing ideas.

So, what should I just ‘get over’? Over the fact that even here in Europe, in The Netherlands, in Germany, you name it, where feminism is supposedly dead because gender equality is achieved, women earn on average (EU) 17 % less than men for the same job? Notably, in Germany and The Netherlands it’s more than 20 % less.[1]

Or, over the fact that men with three children are never asked in job interviews ‘who is going to take care of the children when you are working?’ or ‘who is taking care of the children when they get sick?’?
I know that there are lots of great fathers, especially in Holland, who take paternity leave because they want to play an important role in their children’s life or who work only four days a week in order to have more time for the family. Those are of course great developments, but the structural discrimination against mothers is far from being ok.

Or, over the fact that men shouting or whistling in the street is not harassment but a compliment (which I apparently just don’t seem to understand)?  So, in fact I should be thankful for the construction workers yelling at me on my way to university? And for the hang-jongeren, the teenage boys of Dutch-Moroccan descent, who stare and shout at me when I go running in ‘their hood’?

Or, over the fact that rape victims still face more marginalisation than rapists? Or over the fact that tax crimes get higher prison sentences than rapists? Or that guys can still proudly tell their friends how they ‘banged that drunk chick’ without receiving anything else than positive response about what a cool dude they are?[2]

Why are men who sleep around still cool bros and women who sleep around sluts, whores or bitches? Why are girls being told to not drink too much and watch out for their glasses so that they don’t become an easy victim? Why are women told to dress modestly because ‘if they dress a certain way it is their own fault if they get raped’? And these are not ‘advices’ that are given far away. I’ve heard them in my own home, in my high school from both male and female teachers and they’re being displayed in the media every day. But why is that so? Because men are animals following their instincts so if I show too much skin they just can’t help it? I’m not willing to believe that, as I’m not a men-hating woman. I think men are great. So there must be something else wrong than nature!

Why do we not start telling boys that women are no sexual objects? That it’s not an achievement to ‘get another one’? That sleeping with drunk or unconscious women is not okay because you are not exactly asking for her consent? That whatever a woman does it’s not ok to harass her? [3]

Let’s have a look at a homepage that I recently came across which is called ‘The return of kings’ where men give advice about women, for example ‘8 Signs You Should Break Up With A Girl’ or ’24 Signs She’s A Slut’. According to ‘Tuthmosis’ men should immediately break up with women who gain weight, talk about their sexual past, have contact with their ex-boyfriend, cut their hair short, disrespect their boyfriend in public and are not 24/7 willing to sleep with their boyfriend. Sluts can be detected for example by not being ticklish, by having a tattoo or piercing, having ‘big tits’, by having ‘a slut face’, by having a bad relationship with her dad or by having a nice and even tan.

I haven’t even started with any other place in the world than the Western world where there is supposedly equality between men and women. And you tell me to ‘just get over it’?

I can tell you something. I won’t. I will not get over it and I will not stop being angry. Until these things have finally changed. Maybe they will not change within a year and for sure it’s not easy to change them but that is far from meaning that I have to accept them.

Lastly I want to recommend this Ted Talk about how feminism is not a ‘rule book but a discussion’. http://www.ted.com/talks/tavi_gevinson_a_teen_just_trying_to_figure_it_out.html

And I think we should all keep this discussion going!


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