Happy International Women’s Month or International Women’s Anger Month?

Happy International Women’s Month or International Women’s Anger Month? March 8, 2020
Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

Now that Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the race, and everybody forgot that Tulsi Gabbard is still running, suddenly I have cause for female-oriented outrage. That’s right. Evidently, because Warren is no longer running for President, I should be reeling with devastating emotions because it’s apparent that a woman will not be the next President. Does the nation think so lowly of Gabbard? I mean, if it’s just about getting a woman in the white house, Gabbard seems like she fits the description, because, she’s a Democrat and all.

Anyway, the point is, I am to be mad. Angry. Disappointed. I am to acknowledge that this is a failure of femininity. Somehow, the patriarchy won again. I have been oppressed yet again. Only cracks in the glass ceiling this time around. I have more cause than ever to believe that misogyny is the grueling enemy that holds me back from rising to success or even having the most qualitative life that I believe I deserve.

The progressive agenda has insisted for over half a century that nobody can tell me what I am feeling—especially a man. In recent years, we have chastised men for “mansplaining” a term many still aren’t familiar with. Merriam-Webster defines it like this:

“Mansplaining is, at its core, a very specific thing. It’s what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does.”

I would like to know if this definition of mansplaining can be applied to the liberal media and the male commentators who are telling me how I should feel as a woman. Is this not a form of mansplaining or do we need to construct a new term for what is taking place?

More than that, I want to know why I should be mad. What did I lose with Warren dropping out? What was taken away from me? How did my credit as a human being drop to secondary now that Warren is no longer a candidate?

Do I want to be angry? Isn’t that a better question to ask? Do I need to be angry? Will anger get me anywhere? Am I rational when I am angry? I must be missing something. And is that what I am to celebrate during International Women’s Month? Anger?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says that it’s time to embrace our feminine anger:

“It’s truly time to retire the misogynist trope that angry men are powerful, yet angry women are unhinged. It’s such gaslighting nonsense. You SHOULD be mad at abuse of power. The real question is how one channels that energy into positive change that creates justice.”

Nina Turner says that if we aren’t mad, something is wrong:

“And maybe if you’re not mad. I mean, if people are not mad about what is going on in this country right now and even this world and something is wrong. So I lean into that.”

I grew up with the mentality and understanding that a woman’s anger was about the scariest thing a person would have to face. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” I grew up in a home that insisted that a happy wife was the key to a happy life. I know that when I am angry, my husband is walking on eggshells.

I also know that when I am angry, I am self-righteously justified in that anger. Nobody can tell me that I shouldn’t be angry. It infuriates me when others do tell me to “calm down.” But I am not one to condone anger as a way of life or as a social justice action. If anger is a feeling and feelings are fleeting, then I may want to think twice about acting out from a place of anger. And I know I am not the only one who believes this way.

Anger is justified within the context and within parameters. But I would be a fool to insist that anger is the best way to deal with things. I would be a fool to defend angry women everywhere. It’s not because I want women to be prim and proper. Who defines what proper even means?

I know that I must talk myself down from some irrational positions now and again when I am angry. I have earned enough punches on my frequent visitor card to the county jail to really have lived that truth. My anger-management classes have influenced me to be reasonable about choices when I am angry. I don’t understand how a Democratic candidate dropping out of the Presidential race is reason enough for me to ignore what I know to embrace anger.

What kind of message are we sending our daughters (and our sons for that matter)? That anger will get us somewhere? Where will it get us? Will it get us to the same position as a man? Are we going to throw away centuries of research on anger to justify a hissy fit over my candidate not making it to the final round?

I thought we wanted to teach our children, our spouses, and our friends that vulnerability is OK. That anger is just a sign of fear and in order to calm those fears, we must reflect and break apart that which angers us.

The manipulative media and the hashtag society want us to be angry women—and proud of it. The rhetoric is hard to reconcile with reason.

I don’t want to be angry and I damn well don’t want to be told by male media commentators what I should be feeling. I really don’t like the recommendation by anyone with any authority nor a large following to make anger trendy.

I understand that many feel that it’s not fair that men’s anger is perceived as strength, credibility, and power, while women’s anger is viewed as emotional volatility and a lack of control. I understand that women want political power and want to be seen as equal to men.

Can I be honest with you? I don’t think women are equal to men. I never have. Women are amazingly superior as far as I am concerned, and I really don’t care how that is perceived. I don’t believe men are worthless or by any means insignificant but damn it, I can give birth. My breasts can nourish and sustain life. Not only that, but my breasts are the most amazing tools that I have as a woman. They can literally get me anything I want. That’s a superpower a man will never have. We aren’t equal—not by any means that matters.

Knowing we are not equal and knowing that there is something incredibly unique and wonderfully unfolding about the woman means that I don’t need to be compared with men and their standards of what is and is not considered strength and power. I don’t need my anger to reveal anything about my capability. I don’t want to be like a man. And so, I don’t quite understand why my anger needs to be compared with a man’s anger nor why I need society to accept the anger I wish to embrace that I have been told all my life is a fury unknown to hell.

I don’t believe that just because we don’t have a female candidate running for President that somehow, my life is any less valid or worthy than it was three days ago. I really don’t see a glass ceiling keeping me from advancing. Do I know that they are underdeveloped men out there that say some really stupid shit? Of course! There are women out there that echo similar stupid shit. But that doesn’t hold me back.

My anger may hold me back, however. My anger may prevent me from being intentional about my words and actions. My anger may cause me to justify character assaults and physical violence. I worry that there are so many loud voices advocating for women to embrace their anger and use it as a weapon against some imaginary patriarchal glass-ceiling creator that is keeping me from being the best me.

I just don’t think that’s what taking place. I don’t really see any glass ceiling preventing me from doing what I want to do, and I believe it is dangerous to convince women all over the world that there is.

And I am not sure if I like the idea that a normal association of women is to be anger. Is that all we are about? Anger can be turned into arousal for something beautiful and good. So, if we are utilizing the energy that anger produces, I want to hope that women understand to not embrace perpetual anger. Instead, we can embrace the capacity to eroticize anger by transforming it into a fire that warms others not one that burns others.

 

 

 

 

 

About Danielle Kingstrom
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