Women for so long have had to burrow and suppress their rage. To be angry is to be impolite. To be rageful as a woman is disagreeable. It’s controversial and almost always never taken seriously. While men are acclaimed and respected for raising their voices on topics they’re passionate about, women are viewed as crazy and unstable. While anger in men is seen as decisive or done with purpose the opposite can be said of women. Why is it that when women express such an important emotion they are seen in a negative light? “Because we expect women to be kind and communal, we sometimes like them less when they’re assertive or forceful. In contrast, we expect men to act like this, so they don’t face the same pushback.” This is most often observed in women that run for government positions. When anger is displayed the candidate is told she is uncontrollable and unfit to uphold such an influential position of authority. While on the other hand, men are encouraged to have such emotions. If they did not they would be seen as weak.
They would be seen as a woman.
The worst horror for men, something that keeps them awake at night, is the thought of being compared to a woman. To lack anger is to be feminine and to be feminine to men is the most shameful thing in the world. Men frequently declare that women are too emotional, then go on to complain that as men they are not allowed to show emotions. What many of them forget is that anger is also an emotion. A strong and compelling one at that. Countless men use anger as a substitute for all and any emotions they feel. While they have had full reign over the emotion women have had no opportunity to make use of it. Anger and rage have been the leading cause of so much change in the world when used correctly. In the 1960s, women of the time used their anger and rage to push forward in their fight for equality. Anger and outrage are such important tools that when used correctly they can change the outcome of almost any situation.
While women are taught to shy away from anger, women of color are the most affected when showing even the slightest form of it. Hurtful and harmful stereotypes begin to develop in communities that still exist today. Like the feisty Latina or the angry black woman. Each stereotype demeans the woman’s anger and puts their feelings or emotions on the backburner. They are seen as a joke and something to be wary of.
It’s important to not only feel all emotions but have them heard by the people around you. Anger and rage are common emotions that all people feel and should be taken seriously no matter what gender one identifies with.
Abrams, Allison. “The Power and Shame of Women’s Anger.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/nurturing-self-compassion/202002/the-power-and-shame-women-s-anger.
Chemaly, Soraya. “How Women and Minorities Are Claiming Their Right to Rage.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 May 2019, www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/may/11/women-and-minorities-claiming-right-to-rage.
DeANGELIS, TORI. “When Anger’s A Plus.” Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological Association, Mar. 2003, www.apa.org/monitor/mar03/whenanger.