Tag Archives: anger

Female Anger: A Taboo

A woman screaming in rage and anger is likely more feared than anything on this planet.

malala

Our culture conditions us to disregard levels of anger in women that make us uncomfortable, shrugging her rage off as just being “bitchy”… or oh no, better watch out, it’s her time of the month!

Women are absolutely not allowed the freedom to be angry as anyone else. If you’re angry about something and happen to be a woman, your anger will only be tolerated up to a certain point. Past that, you’re just being a bitch, or irrational, or emotional. Your feelings are disregarded if they’re too powerful for others to handle, or if they make someone uncomfortable.

As a woman, I recognize an almost unconscious restraint in expressing my anger. I know that I’ve been programmed to only be as angry as others are comfortable with, feeling pressured to always maintain some kind of composure even when expressing overwhelming emotion. Gotta try not to look ugly when you cry… Even I doubt my own feelings, constantly telling myself I’m just being dramatic.

You’re allowed to complain, but do it too much and you’re a nag. It’s ok if you want to be angry, but yell too much and you’re a bitch. We don’t mind if you want to fight for social justice or protest about whatever you’re butthurt about today, but if you get overly outraged and indignant, you’re a feminazi or a man-hating dyke. (Don’t even get me started on the feminist stigma).

I’m a woman and I’m fucking mad, outraged even. Just try to shut me up. I dare you.

coutney love angry

Who’s one of the most angry women in pop culture, and hands down the most infamously hated? Courtney Love. People come up with a million reasons to hate her: she killed Kurt, she did heroin when pregnant, whatever… I feel like it all really just comes down to the fact that Courtney Love is the poster child for an angry woman who gives absolutely no fucks whether you think she’s pretty or if her hair’s greasy. She’s the embodiment of loud, obnoxious, outspoken female rage and people either absolutely love it or can’t stand it. Whether you love her or hate her, Love’s original image is so commanding and powerful that even haters have to talk about how awful she is.

So why is it that Courtney Love is considered a gross whore and a junkie, but male equivalents are socially accepted as cool? Take Sid Viscious for example, or pick any of the numerous drug addicted rock stars who got sloppy but were still accepted because they were male.

Well not only is she a gigantic bitch, she also warps and distorts society’s sacred idea of femininity! She has the nerve to be kind of pretty, but in a really fucked up, grungy way. You can’t be that angry in such a pretty dress…

I repeat this quote so much it’s become a mantra of mine:

Your anger is a gift.

Name one time in history when anger has not been someone’s first step in changing the world. The heart of revolution is righteous anger. If you don’t get fucking pissed and outraged that something is being done that isn’t right, it just keeps happening.

So get mad. Get really mad. Get mad and get “ugly” and don’t care. Get as mad as you need to about people and things that hurt you, and use it as your motivation to take initiative and do something to change it.

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First, you’ve got to get mad.

Without this song, I’m not sure I would have reported my last assault. The speech in the beginning (from the 1976 movie Network) has been a huge inspiration to me. It shook me out of my numbness and depression and inspired in me an outrage that made me want to do something about what had happened to me. Beyond that, it made me want to do something about the fact that it continues to happen at all, to anyone.

We sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be… 

… first, you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, “I’M A HUMAN BEING, GODDAMMIT, MY LIFE HAS VALUE! … I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

Rape, murder, homelessness and general mistreatment of our fellow human beings… it’s NOT the way it’s supposed to be, but we’re numbed to it more and more each day. As the speech goes, I don’t know what to do about it but it all starts with giving a shit, and if you give a shit you’ll get mad, and if you get mad maybe you’ll stand up and do something about it.

(YOUR ANGER IS A GIFT).

“Ma, wherever ya see a cop beatin’ a guy / Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries / Wherever there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air / Look for me ma / I’ll be there. Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ for a place to stand / For a decent job or a helping hand / Wherever sombody’s strugglin’ to be free / Look in their eyes ma / You’ll see me!

I am a human being.

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