Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure, usually a show of antagonism. It is an emotion that signifies dissatisfaction towards something or someone, it therefore is a very normal human emotion that should be displayed, or expressed whenever a person is dissatisfied, because humans are not restricted to showing certain emotions at a specific quantity. Nevertheless, the society has used the term ‘angry’ to dismiss people, especially women, whenever they show their fury over the norms of our culture, or simply our adopted way of life, as if being angry is such a bad thing. The show of anger towards gender inequality, or the audacity to challenge societal norms that are clearly unfair is now being termed as ‘bitter’, as though wanting a change or a better life is an abomination. The term ‘angry’ and ‘bitter’ have therefore become tools to dismiss women who are feminists, opinionated and confident, instead of seeing the truth and the unfairness as to how women are treated in the society and in our culture.
I get called angry a lot majorly by men, mostly due to my passion for gender equality, and I used to feel bad about it, until I saw a video of Chimamanda Adichie. In the video, she talked about her love for feminism and how she used to get called ‘angry’ a lot, for repeatedly going on and on about the need for gender equality. She went on and said ‘yes I am angry, because anger has a history of bringing a positive change’, and that was when I got it and accepted my anger. I realized anger isn’t a bad thing, because being angry is normal, and because anger is an instrument for change, the instrument for the change gender equality seeks. Needless to say that it is perfectly okay to be angry, but anger should not be used to dismiss feminism. Anger should not be tagged as toxic or hateful in order to shame the gender equality movement, because feminism isn’t hateful or toxic. Women liberation or empowerment do not in any way promote hate, so it simply shouldn’t be termed as toxic.
Anger is an expression of dissatisfaction, whereupon, if a person wasn’t treated badly, he/she would not be angry. The anger of gender equality is due to the society, if our norms treated women right, there would be no need for women to be angry, I therefore see no reason why women should be called ‘bitter’ for speaking up against unfairness, because being ‘bitter’ is not the same thing as being angry, neither is being hateful, or any other term that is used to dismiss gender inequality. It is almost like the way white people dismiss the cries of racism against Black people, and calling Black people angry for reacting to racism. Whether or not the said discrimination is your reality, or whether or not you belong to the privileged group of people, calling people ‘bitter’ or ‘hateful’ for expressing anger towards the reality of the life the society has chosen for them will always be ignorant and insensitive. It is not very easy to go away from the position of privilege and try to relate with people, but it definitely is something worth doing, rather than continuing to be ignorant.
In conclusion, people need to understand that anger isn’t a bad thing, women who are angry only want a better life, and until the society as a whole understands that, we will continue to be angry. Also, being hateful isn’t anger, feminists should not be classified as hateful as a way of dismissing them, because wanting to be treated right by the society that romanticizes misogyny is in fact an indication of self love.