Ingrid Nilsen is a YouTube power player with almost 4 million subscribers. She was one of seven YouTube creators newly appointed as a Change Ambassadors for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Action campaign with a mission to promote gender equality around the world. She wrote the following column exclusively for Metro.
My relationship with anger is messy and complicated. It picks me up, gives me a rush, then dumps me in the deepest, darkest place I know — the pit of guilt and shame. It sucks. It takes work to dig myself out. It sucks some more.
But in the process of all this digging, I’ve realized how instrumental anger is to being a feminist. When I was younger, I pictured angry, rioting women whenever I heard the word feminist. I was taught to despise this word. I was taught to never be this word. An angry woman was essentially a monster. I didn’t want to be a monster. I wanted to be nice. I wanted to be sweet. I wanted to be liked.
You see, that’s the problem with this whole “angry woman” thing. We’re taught that being anything other than pleasant and delightful goes against who we should be as women. We become villains, labeled as “b—es” and “crazies” that aren’t worthy of being heard if we dare to show our anger. But what’s so wrong with being angry when injustices are happening all around us?
When our bodies are treated like objects and are often the subject of political debate. When people are denied the human right of safely using a bathroom that corresponds with their gender. When men have the “right” to insult a woman, but if she tries to stand up for herself, she’s a b—h.
I think most of us can relate to that last sentence. It’s frustrating as hell. And it gets even more frustrating if you try to find the male equivalent of “b—h”. Are the words son of a b—h and d-bag coming to mind? Well, all of these words stem back to insulting a woman at their core.
It’s no coincidence that there isn’t a single word in the English language that’s derogatory towards men on the same level that “b—h” is towards women. Even our language is outraged and crying for change!
And that’s what it comes down to — being angry doesn’t mean you’re a crazy, raging b—h. It means you’re on the cusp of change.
Anger fuels passion, passion fuels knowledge, and knowledge fuels change. So instead of pushing your anger away, welcome it to the table and listen to what it has to say.
Check out Ingrid's video below about her trip to the United Nations and conversation about gender equality with YouTube's other Change Ambassadors. Also, click here to download her new Podcast, Ladies Who Lunch.