Typically when I write a blog post I receive responses about what I have written. This time there were very few responses. Perhaps my friends didn’t agree with my take… not necessarily about the body language. You’d have to be blind not to see all the frozen Stepford bodies behind the man and how all the women, Including his wife, sat immobile, staring into space, not even looking or connecting with the man.
My last blog post, The Body Talks, was also about anger… women’s anger. And how slapping back doesn’t always work and isn’t always satisfying.
I think it was the lack of reaction to what I said about anger that has caused me to write this addendum.
This past week, I read an article in the New Yorker magazine, October 15th issue, The Perils and Possibilities of Anger (After centuries of censure, women reconsider the political power of female rage.) By Casey Cep
The article concerns a slew of new books that challenge the notion that rage is a danger to self and to society. How propitious is that?
As I am reading the article, I think that Casey (I choose to think we could be on a first name basis) is refuting my argument that anger and rage can be detrimental to the personal and the political .
But I read on and now I am going to quote from her article:
“…Traister writes that she does not wish “simply to cheer” anger, and acknowledges that rage that fuels insurrections “has the power to burn them up.” But her case for ire is undermined by a rampaging elephant in the room: anger knows no political persuasion. For every Maxine Waters, there’s a Michele Bachmann; for every Gloria Steinem, a Phyllis Schlafly.
“All of the books do, however, acknowledge a fact that undercuts their attempts to valorize women’s anger: one of the angriest demographics in America before the 2016 Presidential election was white women, and the majority of them voted for Donald Trump.”
“That the words “President” and “Trump” came together anywhere outside of a Mad Lib is itself perhaps the most straightforward argument against anger as a political virtue.”
“…many people were so furious about immigration, the economy, the election of a black President, the potential for a female one, Black Lives Matter, the War on Christmas, and any number of other real and phantasmagorical issues that they voted for Trump. Was there ever a better example of blind rage?”
“That blindness is one of the oldest objections to anger.”
“The civil-rights marchers and the Freedom Riders were the ones with calm clarity…, while their white neighbors were the ones who looked and sounded like the Furies.”
“Repressed emotions are dangerous, but, as countless medical studies have shown, sustained anger is both physically and emotionally destructive.
“Women have every reason to be livid right now, and our anger should not be mocked, censored, or punished. But that does not mean it must be celebrated…”
“…What you build is infinitely more important than what you tear down.”
“Anger is an avaricious emotion; it takes more credit than it deserves. Attempts to make it into a political virtue too often attribute to anger victories that rightfully belong to courage, patience, intelligence, persistence or love…”
“What is powerful isn’t so much women’s anger as their collective action. That is what has changed most radically since this past election, hopefully not in a burst of rebellion but in a revolution of lasting consequence.”
My dear friends, if I was able to write all this instead of quoting my new best friend, Casey, I might have made my position on anger clearer… I am just grateful Casey read the books and wrote the book reports quoted from. And I wanted to share it with my friends. I have displayed enough anger and rage in my lifetime to make for physical and emotional and mental discomfort.
Imagine, at my age (85…thank goodness I shall stop counting after this birthday) coming to understand that there is another way to be in and of the world and I want all of you to join me.
Together is better….right??? Of course, right!
Love ~ Sally-Jane