Jessica Valenti is sick and tired of the question, “Why are you so angry?” We’re all aware of the “angry feminist” stereotype that’s been bandied about for decades; anger and aggression are prominent qualities of the caricature version of feminism. This unfair and false characterization is often invoked by those who would silence the voices of feminists, dismissing their views as irrational or otherwise invalid.
During a luncheon held by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast on the occasion of Roe v. Wade's fortieth anniversary, Valenti discussed her own relationship with this frustrating question. As a preeminent feminist blogger and founder of feministing.com, Valenti is no stranger to this familiar misconception. In her speech, she took the time to respond, comprehensively, to those who wonder what feminists are “so pissed off about”.
“It’s not that I’m angry," she says, "It’s that I’m exhausted. The war on reproductive health and autonomy feels absolutely never-ending. In 2011, there was a record number of anti-choice laws enacted across the states, and in 2012 we saw more than 40 new state laws restricting women’s access to abortion...I’m exhausted thinking about the fact that I’m still fighting a battle my mother marched for."
Valenti's uncompromising and characteristically riveting speech is well worth a watch (or five)—check out the full version below.