(Alas, this piece could also fall under the “today in misogyny” category but it is, I think/ hope, more positive.)
“Feminism and rape are both ridiculously tiring”.
The more girls started to voice their opinions about gender issues, the more vitriolic the boys’ abuse became. One boy declared that “bitches should keep their bitchiness to their bitch-selves #BITCH” and another smugly quipped, “feminism doesn’t mean they don’t like the D, they just haven’t found one to satisfy them yet.”
This is an inspiring story of one young woman’s determination to start a feminist society at her school, despite the vitriol of the backlash she and her friends received (see above for examples and more below). This is the third or fourth time I’ve read a similar account from young women who have started a feminist society in their school.
I am 17 years old and I am a feminist. I believe in gender equality, and am under no illusion about how far we are from achieving it. Identifying as a feminist has become particularly important to me since a school trip I took to Cambridge last year.
A group of men in a car started wolf-whistling and shouting sexual remarks at my friends and me. I asked the men if they thought it was appropriate for them to be abusing a group of 17-year-old girls. The response was furious. The men started swearing at me, called me a bitch and threw a cup coffee over me.
For those men we were just legs, breasts and pretty faces. Speaking up shattered their fantasy, and they responded violently to my voice.
Shockingly, the boys in my peer group have responded in exactly the same way to my feminism.
After returning from this school trip I started to notice how much the girls at my school suffer because of the pressures associated with our gender. Many of the girls have eating disorders, some have had peers heavily pressure them into sexual acts, others suffer in emotionally abusive relationships where they are constantly told they are worthless.
I decided to set up a feminist society at my school, which has previously been named one of “the best schools in the country”, to try to tackle these issues. However, this was more difficult than I imagined as my all-girls school was hesitant to allow the society. After a year-long struggle, the feminist society was finally ratified.
What I hadn’t anticipated on setting up the feminist society was a massive backlash from the boys in my wider peer circle. They took to Twitter and started a campaign of abuse against me. I was called a “feminist bitch”, accused of “feeding [girls] bullshit”, and in a particularly racist comment was told “all this feminism bull won’t stop uncle Sanjit from marrying you when you leave school”.
Our feminist society was derided with retorts such as, “FemSoc, is that for real? #DPMO” [don’t piss me off] and every attempt we made to start a serious debate was met with responses such as “feminism and rape are both ridiculously tiring”.
Source and rest: What happened when I started a feminist society at school: The Guardian.
(Excerpt etc. first posted on feimineach.com. Orig. attribution above.)