19/09/2012 § 1 Comment
Lately, I have been thinking on (and, frankly, getting very angry about) the myriad ways that people respond to anger, bitterness, and so on, especially with regard to the anger and bitterness of women. I apologize if I am too vague in what I am arguing against, but I am simultaneously trying to make a point and conceal the source of my ire. Still, I think I can make the argument generally against a characterization of feminists as angry man-haters, especially when we fail at perfect equanimity.
The contention that feminists are angry (and therefore off-putting) in some way implies that women have no reason to be angry. It’s almost as though, if women feel like there is something to complain about, it ought to be put forth in the least upsetting way possible.
Bad: Men should stop raping women. The onus for rape is on the perpetrator.
Good: Gee, rape is terrible. Something should really be done about it, don’t you think?
What on earth is so bad about being angry? Some things should be worth getting angry about. For myself, injustice is just about the only thing worth getting angry about.
I wonder if this is fundamentally a problem of pluralism and tolerance shielding injustice from inquiry. We have a blessed, sweet rainbow of (in)difference, a tolerance of intolerance.
Wake up! Sexism, racism, classism, all forms of oppression cannot be simply a tolerated difference of opinion. We are talking about people’s lives here. We are talking about policies, institutions, social structures that are actively causing people harm. There is reason to be angry. I am angry. In my view, everyone should be angry.
Anger at oppression means I feel something for other human beings. Deal with it.