Rage Becomes Her

Rage Becomes Her

Book - 2019
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Publisher: Atria Books, 2019
Edition: ON ORDER
ISBN: 9781501189562
1501189565

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kpelish
Nov 23, 2018

Chemaly provides a bracing overview of why women's anger is both feared and discounted, how its expression or non-expression affects the various roles that women hold over their lifespan (including her own personal struggles), and how the #MeToo movement arrived. A tighter edit, however, would have made this timely, well-written book more compelling. Women don't need lots of examples of how the current system makes their lives harder. She adds a new sort of bibliography resource: a Spotify list of shared songs—music as a source of inspiration. The book was published before the 2018 midterm elections, themselves a shining example of women's anger and action powerfully channeled as the largest, most diverse cohort of women swept into office. “In the coming years, we will hear, again, that anger is a destructive force, to be controlled. Watch carefully, because not everyone is asked to do this in equal measure. Women, especially, will be told to set our anger aside in favor of a kinder, gentler approach to change. This is a false juxtaposition. Re-envisioned, anger can be the most feminine of virtues: compassionate, fierce, wise, and powerful.”

Having witnessed the recent Supreme Court nominee hearings, I see and understand the meaning of the old saying, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS. I thought the witness, a Ph.d, was a cocky little actress, not above making use of product placement (Coca-Cola), and unashamed to claim she had a fear of flying when documentation showed she had flown nearly all round the world ( many flights, many flights) So to praise her for her bravery for making it to the hearing via air flight, was just a tad bit over the top, but this I saw some commentators, doing. Her body language was impeccable (she hung her head a lot; a strand of her blond hair persisted in hanging over one eye). It was disconcerting to hear her interjecting into emotional testimony some technical language about the brain's chemistry: how many times within the same paragraph did she say 'hippocampus?' she showed the capacity of a multi-personality personality in her ability to do this. she slipped when referring to the schools she attended, while growing up, as 'elitist,' not 'elite.' // I predicted this latest tawdry development a couple of months ago by mocking their leftist movement, very simply, by chanting 'We Hate Trump!', followed by 'We Hate Kavanaugh!'. But then, i'm honest, that is to say, not devious, which is more than can be said for the resurgent American Communist Movement ( by any other name).//Today I saw the senator from Hawaii speeching before the vote itself. She read into the Record a long excerpt from a female author, extolling the value of harnessing rage. She misspoke one word (collaborative for corroborative); perhaps that was meant as a more-or-less clue for the followers. She had only just finished mocking the conspiracy theory of Kavanaugh (as she and consequently they see it) so maybe because of her hippocampus a word connoting conspiracy was still on her devious mind. Further points she made: She believes Survivors. The movement began with saying, ' if a woman accuses you, she MUST BE BELIEVED.' (Women are not able to lie) Now, it's being presented with different packaging: ' I believe Survivors.' Who are survivors ? Those who claim to be. Who claims sexual abuse? overwhelmingly, females. The argument comes full circle. What about all the men in prisons who are raped and feminized by force? I doubt these women give a f--- about any men, at all. The Victim Position is highly coveted, and there is a limited time available in the spotlight. Today, I learned that Kavanaugh is not a great candidate. But I don't abide with slogans like, ' the enemy of my enemy is my friend.' Ask the employees of the Maryland distribution center of Rite Aid if they think all women are harmless, nurturing creatures (who wouldn't hurt a fly).

s
shayshortt
Sep 28, 2018

As you might expect, reading Rages Becomes Her was an enraging experience. Statistics like “56 percent of American men think sexism has been eradicated from American life” or “a woman killed by a man she knows has, on average, been strangled seven times prior to her murder” are bound to boil the blood. Chemaly also assures that reader that writing it was equally enraging, which is unsurprising given that she includes many personal stories from her own experiences or those of her female relatives. It is a book that affirms that women have a lot to be angry about, and offers validation and comradery to those who have been feeling that rage in a society that repeatedly denies its existence. And finally, it offers encouragement to not just accept that anger, but to turn it towards building a community that will use it as fuel for working to make the world a better place. Women have managed their anger for long enough; now it is time to wield it.

Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance review copy at ALA Annual 2018
Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2018/09/27/rage-becomes-her/

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shayshortt
Sep 28, 2018

Women are frequently characterized as the more emotional gender, but there is one emotion that is stereotyped more male than female, and which is taboo for women—anger. Anger is considered ugly, selfish, and unfeminine, and from an early age, women are discouraged from expressing it, or even talking about it. Angry women are characterized as hysterical, or downright insane. In Rage Becomes Her, writer and activist Soraya Chemaly argues that this denial of women’s anger is one more way in which women are kept under control by a patriarchal society. Anger can be destructive, but never more so than when it is turned inward and subsumed. Turned outward in constructive ways, it can be a response to injustice that lights a fire for change, and it is this acceptance and expression of women’s anger that Chemaly is arguing for.

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shayshortt
Sep 28, 2018

Anger has a bad rap, but it is actually one of the most hopeful and forward thinking of our emotions. It begets transformation, manifesting our passion and keeping us invested in the world. It is a rational and emotional response to trespass, violation, and moral disorder.

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