‘Angry’ feminists are the only ones bringing positive change to campus any more
We’re making it better for everyone
University feminists have a bad reputation: from Bahar Mustafa, to Beth Sutton it seems for the past few years, you haven’t been able to move for the absolute deluge of of tweets, blog posts, and newspaper articles on why modern Feminism is the latest cancer metastasising its way through universities.
From the supposed strangulation of “free speech” on our university campuses, to consent and active bystander workshops, the demonisation of feminism has lead to wave after wave of utterly dire Facebook statuses labelling feminists as hysterical harpies, hell bent on chemically castrating the next person with a pair of testicles unfortunate enough to cross their paths. However, I for one, think this hyperbolising is – in short – utter bollocks. Far from ruining the university experience, angry feminists are helping to make it better for everyone.
Being a girl at university is really, really hard. Even if you’re not doing a degree like Maths, or Engineering where you’re likely to be majorly outnumbered, you’ve still got to contend with a barrage of creeps who think they’re entitled to your body because you had the audacity to exist. Every single girl I know has a story about a guy who wouldn’t leave her alone – be it some weirdo on the Tube taking your picture without asking, or being groped in clubs, to things altogether more sinister like being followed home to your halls.
What’s even more galling is that, more often than not, you’re the one blamed for the shitty things which happen to you. You’re assaulted? Shouldn’t have dressed like that. Someone belittles you for no reason other than that you’re a woman? Sorry hun, just banter. We’re constantly portrayed as humourless, sanctimonious shrews who do more harm than good on campus, and to be honest, we’re fucking sick of it.
Even if you don’t ascribe to our ideology, you’ve got to admit so-called angry feminists facilitate debate on campus. Feminism isn’t a monolith, so you’re going to find all sorts of different (and sometimes heated) arguments about race, class, sexuality, disability, and even more within Fem Soc and Women’s Network events across the UK. Even more so, it’s a talking point – without a feminist presence on campus, who else would you blame for the supposed censorious nature of UK universities? Face it, without us Blurred Lines would have been no more than a desperately mediocre Marvin Gay rip-off – now it’s the poster child for SU bans and university censorship.
You’ve also got to consider the fact us angry university feminists have created institutions which have benefitted a load of people – not just ourselves. Consider all the work that the Women’s Officer does for us. Not only does she organise loads of events which anyone at UCL can go to, she’s also pretty much the first point of contact for students who have experienced gendered violence or sexual assault. Considering how shoddy our student support networks are, it’s nice to know there’s someone whose job it is to look out for you, and that’s all down to us much maligned campus feminists.
As much as people love to blame us for everything they think is wrong with student unions, it’s pretty undeniable we’ve made the most positive contribution to university campuses you’ve seen. Without us life would be dull, you’d have nobody to get offended by, no boogey man to rage at, and certainly no-one to accuse of being literal fascists for banning a crap tune. Plus, we’re part of the reason there’s student support networks beyond the university’s piss-poor attempt at psychological services, so maybe instead of crapping all over us, some thanks would be due?