This is ME when I’m angry – By @poppy_scarlett
By Poppy Cumming-Spain
This is ME when I’m angry
Earlier this year, SCA launched a campaign to raise money for scholarships (as I’m sure you know). When I came across this on social media, it was captioned with ‘this is me [marc] when I’m angry’.
This line spoke to me for a number of reasons:
- Firstly, rather strangely, I was reminded of an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch where her irritated cousin says, ‘I’m already angry, and when I get angry I… [cue green slime which covers all surrounding characters]’
- Perhaps somewhat naively, I hadn’t considered that there would be people out there who deserve to go to SCA but would have to decline because they couldn’t afford it (in my mind I always felt like I’d find the money somewhere!)
- And then it got me thinking about what makes me angry
Now the kind of angry I’m talking about here isn’t irate, pissed off, aggressive angry, it’s more of a frustrated, fed up, had enough kind of angry. And not just a little irritation, but angriness about the kind of things we can change and improve which has propelled previous SCA students into some exciting personal projects.
Until a few months ago, I’m afraid to say there didn’t seem to be anything that made me angry enough to do something about it (which is bad, I know). That’s not to say that I don’t recognize the multitude of injustices in the world, or wish that things would be different, but I’ve always felt like it either wasn’t my place or within my capabilities to cause change; so I never really got angry.
But this summer I found something that absolutely needs to change, so this is ME when I’m angry (apologies for the sharp change in tone of this blog).
Why am I angry?
I’m angry because I had to forcibly remove two sets of unwanted hands from my body and run away when I was on holiday this summer.
I’m angry because I’ve experienced countless gropes, grabs and unwanted wandering hands in the last 8 years and done nothing about it.
I’m angry because I have too many friends who have been sexually assaulted or worse, raped.
I’m angry because we had to reach 24 before we began realising that we had all already, unknowingly experienced sexual assault and/or harassment. Why on earth do we have sex education and yet nothing about boundaries and behaviour?!
I’m angry because I can’t bring myself to call my experience ‘assault’ because that would be too dramatic.
I’m angry because I guarantee if you asked any woman she would have countless stories like ours.
I’m angry because there are some people who won’t take no for an answer and instead demand justification.
I’m angry because we live in a world where we still don’t know what exactly constitutes consent.
I’m angry that according to some people your clothes and even your hairstyle can determine if you’re a suitable ‘candidate’ for rape.
I’m angry that women travelling, eating, drinking or even standing alone are likely to be harassed and rarely feel safe.
I’m angry that we live in a world where not one but TWO teenage girls can experience double rapes over the course of this summer. Seriously. WHAT. THE. FUCK.
I’m angry because people in positions of power try to undermine victim’s experiences (see the Taylor Swift case if you haven’t already).
I’m angry because there are normal people out there who brush off these experiences, leaving victims feeling isolated and ignored.
I’m angry that articles like this are unusual, but the awful experience within is not.
I’m angry because there are too many women who aren’t as brave as the author of that article and stay silent, for fear of being ridiculed.
I’m angry that the frontman of Staind had to stop his concert after spotting a teenage girl being molested when crowd surfing.
I’m angry because there are multiple female artists who can’t or will no longer crowd surf because of groping experiences (Florence Welch, Iggy Azalea and Katy Perry, to name a few).
I’m angry that artists like Princess Nokia have to take time to request that no sexual harassment occurs during their set, specifying that she has a zero tolerance policy.
I’m angry that a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment, attacks and abuse isn’t guaranteed anywhere and everywhere, and by everyone.
I’m angry reading this list back.
I’m angry that I had to write this list.
So yeah, this is me when I’m angry. And I hope you’re angry too.
As I see it, SCA is the place for converting anger into positive change, so once we get started I’m going to finish this sentence:
‘And when I get angry I… ‘