Reasons I’m angry.

This is my last blog post of the year. I should be banging on about New Years resolutions that remind you that you’re not good enough/thin enough/sober enough/productive enough. But we all know that’s just nonsense and you should give yourself a break.

So instead I’m going to answer a question that a couple of people have asked after reading my blog, which is – ‘why are you so angry?’

I don’t really think of myself as angry, more wearily accepting of it all. I’ve written about the importance of feminism before, here and explained that while I feel strongly, I’m not about to throw myself under a horse any time soon.

But if I am angry, there are plenty of reasons why. Here are just a few.

  • Because nothing seems to have changed, we take one step forwards and two steps back.

  • Because even on the eve of 2015 women who don’t want children are patronised and seen as unnatural, they make us nervous and constantly have to explain themselves in a way men who don’t want children don’t. But then conversely, women who do have children are seen as mindless. They don’t contribute to society in a way that anyone can understand or measure, so they disappear for a while until there is a point to them again. Women who go back to work have to explain themselves, as do women who want to stay at home with their kids. The really sad thing is that most of this explaining is to other women.

  • Because it still seems that women are either attractive or clever and people still express surprise when they are both. There’s an idea that women who like things like make-up are shallow, as if every bit of make up you wear burns another brain cell. Surely there’s not enough room in the female brain to hold information about eye-liner AND politics? So be pretty at all times, but not too pretty, or too fat. Or too thin either actually as either way you’ll be picked on. Please keep up. *Disclaimer: Society reserves the right to change these rules randomly, and with no logic.

  • Because everyone tells you to breastfeed but then expects you to do it out of sight. It’s exhausting. One minute we’re being told to get them out, then we have to put them away again because we didn’t get them out in the right way, or we got them out too much or they didn’t look right or Nigel Farage was tired and feeling a bit offended by breasts. Jeez, it’s like you women think they belong to you or something.

  • Because women are still blamed for ‘getting themselves’ raped. We can send a space probe to Mars and grow a human ear on a rat’s back, but when a man rapes an unconscious woman the emphasis is still on what SHE did. Male instincts and impulses are still used as a defence and it’s the woman’s job to make sure she doesn’t provoke these by adjusting her behaviour, preferably by wearing more and drinking less and just generally being less noticeable. There are all kinds of guidelines out there about how to avoid being raped, they even have ads on the back of buses. It’s maybe time to have a few guidelines out there for men to help them avoid raping in the first place, but what do I know.

  • Because women are still separated into stereotypes. They either talk about fluff and nonsense, or are planning their dungaree-clad revenge on poor, unsuspecting men who are only trying to hold the damn door open! They are witches or sluts or nags or virgins and women still feel they should laugh along at this shit in case they come across as a man-hating, vagina-studying killjoy who can’t take a joke.

  • Because we’re still having to apologise for our sexuality. If we want sex we’re sluts and if we don’t we’re frigid. Society wants to sexualise women at every opportunity but only on certain terms, the minute women try to take control of their own sexuality it has to be legislated against to remind them that they still need men. It’s fine to want sex, as long as it’s the right kind of sex and at the right time.

  • Because I was recently told (by a man from a privileged, male-dominated background) that women ‘haven’t had it too bad really’, and that the reason there aren’t as many classic writers/artists etc is because women just aren’t as good at that kind of thing. Also, the pay gap is a myth and the reason a woman earns three-quarters of a man’s salary in a comparable job is because the lazy cow is hardly at work because of all her kids and periods and ripping her tights or having a bad hair day or something.

  • Because on more than one occasion, I have had to explain to my daughters why an unknown man in the street asked to look at Mummy’s tits.

  • Because apparently there are men out there who will pay good money to be taught how to get a woman into bed. Presumably there is nothing more erotic than having sex with a partner who had to be tricked into bed with you. Phwoarr, where do I sign up?

  • Because in films and on TV they still have ditsy, blonde characters and strong female leads are in the minority. There’ll be the odd one here and there but she’ll probably have issues with drink or sex. There’ll be some major flaw, something to reassure us and explain why she’s not at home ironing her husband’s shirts like a normal woman. They are never just there on their own merit, these freaks of nature. And she wont have big breasts, because the big breasted women are just that, the big-breasted woman. Their enormous bosoms literally fill the screen, leaving no room for anything like a personality. If they do manage to hoist a big breasted woman on screen using heavy-duty pulleys and a wheelbarrow then she’ll be the one killed off first.

  • Because our daughters are singing along to songs by men telling them that even though you’re saying no, they know you mean yes.

  • Because when a woman, particularly one in the public eye, makes a mistake or has an affair, or takes a naked photo of herself, she is a slut, a whore, a bad mother, a bad person. A man makes a mistake, has an affair, takes a naked photo of himself, he is a loveable rogue, he is just a good person who made a bad decision and was probably forced to act that way by a woman flaunting her wares without consideration for his natural, manly urges. He’s just being a man, something that has an edge of pride, while acting like a woman is an insult.

These are just a few things and I don’t expect you to feel the same, or even agree with me. Everyone has their own stuff, whether it’s politics or the arts or fashion or human rights or teapots or donkeys, just as long as there are things out there that make you feel something, anything. So if you are out there wondering why I’m so angry, maybe stop a minute and ask yourself why you are not.

And with that jolly little piece I’ll wish you all a Happy New Year. Thanks for reading.


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23 responses to “Reasons I’m angry.

  1. Ha, I did it for you 🙂 x

  2. And you’re not even in France!!

  3. Nya Rawlyns

    I could add lots more, but this will do for now.

  4. Amen. Happy New Year to you, here’s for many more thought provoking posts in the coming year. Angry or not.

  5. Happy new year lovely. And good points 🙂 x

  6. Caroline

    Made my New Year’s Day! I have struggled – first the career, then the stay at home mom, now trying to get back on career ladder with great difficulty & in each situation always feeling like I have to explain myself & justify my decisions as you rightly say, mostly to other women!!!!!!!

  7. boxofficegirl

    Loved this – so well said. Has given me food for thought and now I feel sorry for the men in my life who already found me annoying. God help them now. Happy New Year!

  8. Thanks for reading 😀

  9. Oh blessed be. I’ve been toying with a blog post starting with “why are you not?” I have been unable to complete a post over a year and I think you just pushed me to work at it again. (Not the point of your post but you still helped.)

    Thank you and happy new year to you!

  10. So much yes to every single bit of this. Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. Loved how you expressed all of these ideas – so plainly, yet so eloquently. Thanks for sharing and happy new year.

  12. Lise beane

    Just look to the portraits of people in the museums and see nothing has changed. We see accomplished men and beautiful women. Same as the anchors on TV. Accomplished men, beautiful women. Be nice fir a role reversal sometime. Seasoned, buttoned up women on a TV with their young, studly co-hosts wearing no shirts, leather vests and wigs.

  13. Gale

    On the mark, as usual Ellen! Indeed, why are more women not outraged?
    Great blog post!

  14. Oh girl. I’m an atheist, yet every time I read your blog, I mutter (or sometimes shout) “Amen!”

  15. I was reading Grisham’s Sycamore Row and on page 6, as the MC is introduced, the writer used the “wife” as part of his description. “Patted her on the butt before she rolled over and went back to sleep” “Did her girl stuff with their daughter”, it was so condescending I pointed it out in book club, only to have them all yell at me and say the problem was me. “I saw sexism everywhere”. I said, “I see sexism. Yes.” They didn’t know what to say to that. I’d admitted it, and in their mind, that disqualified me for having an opinion. The problem is us, ladies. If women can’t decide if sexism is acceptable, don’t expect men to decide any time soon.

    • Yes! I was accused of that too. But of course we see it everywhere, it IS everywhere, we’ve just got so used to it now we’ve become immune. And you’re right, women have to keep getting angry and keep having an opinion and letting each other have an opinion.
      Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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