Sunday, November 14, 2010

Angry Feminists

So, I kind of want to talk about feminism, but sometimes it makes me so tired. I'm a feminist, I really am. I am so proud of all the women in the distant and not so distant past that worked so hard for the rights I enjoy today. I know that there is still stuff to fight for and ways that women are dismissed and untruths that are still being spread in society about women. But I hate hate hate how it ends up making me feel. Because it makes me angry. And the people who are fighting are angry too, and so I kind of avoid hanging out with them for too long. I think I hate feeling angry more than almost anything. I would always rather feel sad than angry. Anger makes me feel out of control and completely unlike myself. When I stop being angry I feel like I was a little possessed.

It seems that every group that has ever fought for equal rights has a great deal of anger motivating them. I mean, just think about the revolutionary war, the civil war, civil rights, women's rights... Although they all said they were fighting for something, they were also furiously fighting against something and you gotta believe that there was tons of anger as motivation. How can so much good come from so much anger? I don't really know how that works.

I remember in some psychology class learning that anger is a secondary emotion. You never feel anger at first; it's always a reaction to something else you feel. Like when you stub your toe and you get angry. You don't feel angry because you stubbed your toe, you feel angry because you first felt surprised and hurt. Or like when you get angry after someone teases you about having to go to gym class in Germany in your underwear because you forgot your gym clothes at home. You first feel embarrassed and then you feel angry because of the embarrassment. I don't know exactly how that factors in to the whole angry feminists/any type of protesters, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

In conclusion: I am a feminist who does not like being angry. I think without angry feminists I would be wearing a burka. Well not a burka, but I might not know how to read and write and I wouldn't be able to vote or wear pants. Hooray for angry feminists, boo for anger.


Bryan Lewis said...

David, I think you have the right to be an angry feminist now.

Kathy Haynie said...

Ahhh, I wondered who that was in reference too. Bummer, David.

Anna, I agree. Anger exhausts me, too. Good food for thought here. Thank you.

David x- said...

I actually have been for quite a while. Secretly.
But for reals, it's super true about anger being a reaction to embarrassment. At least in my case.


Jessi said...

Being your black friend I would like to point out that the successful part of the civil rights movement (ie Martin Luther King Jr.) actually involved hard core anti anger coaching. People who were tempermental were asked to make phone calls or bring refreshments to meetings or pack lunches for demonstrators. The unsuccessful part (ie the black panthers) was however fueled by anger and hatred.
P.S. I am totally not a feminist. Sorry. But I do enjoy some of the freedoms they gained for us just not all of them
P.P.S. You're great!