Amazing High School Girls Start ‘Feminist Society’ And Get Bullied For Their ‘Militant Vaginas’
After a school trip to visit Cambridge last year, 17-year-old Jinan Younis and a group of her female friends encountered what so many of us encounter and have encountered since we were Jinan’s age – a bunch of drudebros sexually harassed them. From The Guardian:
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.
So when Jinan returned home she decided to start a feminist society at her school in order to tackle issues young women face simply for being young women, eating disorders, peer pressure, emotionally abusive relationships and gender inequality.
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”.
Jinan goes on to explain how she was told things like:
“bitches should keep their bitchiness to their bitch-selves #BITCH”
Things only got worse when the girls decided to take part in the “Who Needs Feminism?” project where people pose with whiteboards and a reply to this question. After posting their photos on Facebook, the girls were left with lovely little sentiments like their “militant vaginas were as dry as the sahara desert.” I just wanna hug Jinan and all of her friends and explain to them the first rule of Feminist Fightclub is that douchebag dudebros will always feel their manly manly manhood is threatened and respond accordingly. After the photo were met with dicks being dicks, Jinan’s school demanding the girls removed the photos rather than , you know, reprimanding the dudes for leaving harassing and bullying comments on them.
It is appalling that an institution responsible for preparing young women for adult life has actively opposed our feminist work. I feel like the school is not supporting its girls in a crucial part of their evolution into being strong, assertive, confident women. If that’s the case for a well-established girls’ school, what hope does this generation of women have in challenging the misogyny that still pervades our society?
If you thought the fight for female equality was over, I’m sorry to tell you that a whole new round is only just beginning.
I find it pretty appalling that the school isn’t doing more to support the girls, other than suggest they remove the photos for their own safety. And I wish we had more information about how parents were responding to this, because I’d be marching my daughter right down to the school and demanding some answers. I hope Jinan and her friends continue to fight, because it’s so utterly amazing that these girls are tacking these issues and trying to find solutions for them. It gives me so much hope that a mess of 16-18 year olds are learning about feminism at such a young age. When I was that age I was a nightmare. I hope these girls get the support they need, but at the very least, I know a mess of us want to be honorary members of their “Feminist Society” and let them know we are rooting for them and will help in any way we can.