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Women! Let's Be Angry

18/10/2017 16:37 BST | Updated 18/10/2017 16:37 BST

Hands up from all who are angry about the Harvey Weinstein allegations. Actually, let me rephrase this: hands up who is comfortable showing their anger about Harvey Weinstein allegations?

By 'anger' I mean ANGER. Out and out feelings of injustice, coupled with memories of our own daily harassment and perpetuated by a culture of ignoring women/ self-identifying women, and topped with a desire to scream very loudly.

I'm not referring to the polite ladylike anger that maintains a smile whilst enduring the emotional labour of calmly explaining why the Weinstein allegations are an everyday occurrence, and that we know that it's 'not all men'™ (but enough for it to be a problem).

All done whilst running through an internal checklist of the things the person we're talking to has said or done that has perpetuated rape culture and/ or the general domination of women/ self-identifying women. But we keep on smiling and don't mention any of that because if we show any trace of emotion we are dismissed.

Because here's the thing about anger: it's used against us. It's used to dismiss and silence us. It's used to control us. With just a mere wave of the hand we're informed that we're 'just being emotional' and, thus, our words are sent into the deep abyss of 'whinging women'; reminiscent of the the good 'ol days when we would be thrown into an institution and locked away from sight for displaying any sign of stress or emotion.

Often it is either outright said or gently implied that we're just exaggerating as we 'probably have PMT', which is making us more 'hysterical' than usual.

To all this I say, no. I am not hysterical. I am not whinging. I am angry.

I am angry that one in three women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

I am angry that, from the moment we're born, women and girls have to endure harassment and domination on a daily basis.

I am angry that women are underpaid and overworked.

I am angry that women are expected to bear the burnt of the emotional and physical labour at home.

I'm angry that LGBT+ and non-binary persons have to endure so much more hate.

I'm angry that women of colour have to endure racism from my fellow white race on top of being a woman (consider the horrific vitriol that, the incredible, Leslie Jones has endured).

I am angry that we are constantly (often subtly) interrupted, overlooked and belittled, and told that - when someone makes a sexist comment - that we 'just can't take a joke'.

I am angry that we have to speak of ourselves as sisters, mothers, daughers and friends - and not human beings in our own right - in order to try and be listened to.

I am angry that when a woman says she has been raped she's asked what she was wearing.

I am angry because, within seconds of making these statements, someone will always ask 'what about men?', instead of actively listening.

I am angry because many people will call me a 'man-hater'™ and dismiss all the above because I sound angry and emotional.

Well, I. AM. ANGRY.

Here's the thing: we should all be angry. If you are not angry about any of the above; then read it again. If you're still not angry, then you may have some serious privilege-checking to do.

I have fallen in love with Rose McGowan because she is unapologetically angry. Her seething tweets calling out what she considers lies and hypocrisy - and bad taste 'jokes' - just make me want to extend my arm through the Twitter stratosphere and high five her daily for the rest of our lives.

Rose has endured and now she's p*ssed off. Not just from the incidence of assault that she's described; but the decades of cover-ups and threats to her career. And the constant emotional abuse of having to decide between working with people who she claims aided the cover-up, so she can buy food; or spurning Harvey Weinstein and others, in order to keep some part of her soul intact.

I wonder how she feels being publicly angry now? Perhaps she feels relieved? Perhaps she feels empowered? However she feels now, the emotional effects of keeping quiet, pretending that it never happened and - sometimes - bumping into or working with your abuser would surely take a psychological toll on any of us.

I admire and send love to Ms McGowan, and all the other women who have spoken out everywhere. And I send love to those whom prefer not to reveal that they are also a survivor of harassment and sexual violence.

It's not our responsibility to educate those around us who live with greater privilege; it's their responsibility to educate and change themselves. But it is amazing to hear people loudly saying that what they have experienced is not ok. For women, 'no' is a controversial word. And to say it with anger is even more controversial.

Like Rose McGowan, I hope that eventually people will feel comfortable to let their anger ooze out a little more. Because keeping our experiences locked away inside of us is an emotional labour than can eventually destroy our souls.