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'You're just angry/shouty/making a fuss ...'

(49 Posts)
LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 18-Aug-11 12:21:54

Yes, yes I am. I am angry. Sometimes I shout. Sometimes I make a fuss.

You know what? These are all perfectly valid, sane, natural, responsible reactions to circumstances. There is no reason I shouldn't be angry. There is no reason I shouldn't use that anger to motivate myself, or others. The fact that I am angry is nothing I should apologize about.

Being angry doesn't incapacitate me. It doesn't make me less of a woman or less of a rational human being, and more than it would a man. If I hear or see hatred against woman, that makes me angry. That is the right response. If that doesn't make you angry, you should question what is wrong with you.

Prolesworth Thu 18-Aug-11 12:22:47

Message withdrawn

jennyvarnishessthewoodwork Thu 18-Aug-11 12:56:03

I agree completely. What's interesting is when two rational, intelligent and articulate human beings are angry with each other.

<PS Your earlier advice has now been actioned>

TheRealMBJ Thu 18-Aug-11 12:59:01


LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 18-Aug-11 13:01:25


I should say, I don't mean I'm angry all the time or anything like that - I spend most of my time being amused and impressed and fascinated by all the wonderful posters on here. I just felt it needed to be said that anger is not a taboo thing to feel.

jennyvarnishessthewoodwork Thu 18-Aug-11 13:09:47

“I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy,even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power that can move the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 18-Aug-11 13:13:30

Yes, that's the idea. I think anger is a good energy source - don't get violent or frustrated or upset, get angry and stay angry while you work out what's best to do. smile

(Ha. As if it's easy not to get frustrated and upset ... but you know what I mean.)

jennyvarnishessthewoodwork Thu 18-Aug-11 13:20:45

I think I still struggle from an attitude of 'angry people change the world' without being cogniscent of the fact that overt and uncontrolled anger has a very specific place as a tool. Emotional self discipline has never been a strong point though... smile I have been told off many a time for making a fuss - but then I also think that one of the benefits of a functional community is that people grow up with certain behaviour being picked up by others. Who amongst us now, though, will have a go at litter-dropping teens (or other random anti-social behaviours)? My mum, bless her, 60+ and overweight, chased a young teenage lad down the street with her umbrella last year; I'm definitely not adopted grin

TrillianAstra Thu 18-Aug-11 13:22:54

Reminds me of Richard Hammond.

After his big accident the doctors warned him that he might have mood swings and be angry for no good reason and that he should watch out for this.

So he'd get home from work, see that the dog has shit on the hall carpet, be angry and have to go through a thought process of

I'm angry. Why am I angry? Because the dog has shit on the carpet. Should I be angry? Is it normal to be angry? Yes, it is bloody normal to be angry when there is dog shit on the carpet

steamedtreaclesponge Thu 18-Aug-11 13:27:48

Y'know, after 28-odd years of hardly ever being angry, ever, I have realised that I'm now angry pretty much every day. I do think that anger is important, though - you need it, in a way, to give yourself the energy to try and change things. Can be quite knackering though.

Bloody feminism. It's got a lot to answer for.

jennyvarnishessthewoodwork Thu 18-Aug-11 13:30:13

grin at Richard Hammond. Isn't this 'detached engagement'?

LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 18-Aug-11 13:35:47

jenny - I think what I'm getting at is, you can be both angry and emotionally disciplined.

I'm trying to say that anger isn't something we always need to repress - sometimes that is not healthy and actually not a very normal response. I think Trillian's quotation sums it up really well. You have to learn when it's normal and right to be angry.

I really don't like the way some people think it is a sign of lack of control if you are angry, or it's by definition an over-reaction for women to get angry. Anger in women is less socially sanctioned than anger in men, IMO. But it is perfectly normal and sensible to be angry if there's a good cause.

jennyvarnishessthewoodwork Thu 18-Aug-11 13:44:09

Yep, I agree completely. I was thinking of channelling rather than repressing and this is what I wish I was better at: being angry, but retaining composure.

I'm still thinking, too, about scenarios where people are angry with each other. Doesn't it often indicate that the truth may lie somewhere in the middle?

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Thu 18-Aug-11 13:51:21

Anger correctly focused is a wonderful motivator ime. But you have to detach from it a bit. Or else you just go 'NNngggghhhhhhhh!' and smash things.

LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 18-Aug-11 13:55:27

I think that's a logical fallacy, to be honest. Why should people being angry have a bearing on what's true? confused

Wise words, chickens. grin

AliceWyrld Thu 18-Aug-11 14:00:09

To probably slightly mis quote Shelia Jeffreys, 'anger isn't enough, you need rage' grin

jennyvarnishessthewoodwork Thu 18-Aug-11 14:06:40

Yeah, sure. If two people disagree, the truth* may lie on a spectrum from 100% one person's position to 100% the other's. You'll clearly know my underlying question here; if I consider myself to be intelligent and rational, but another intelligent and rational person is in angry disagreement with me, what does that say?

*As if the truth is a tangible and scientifically identifiable point! lol

jennyvarnishessthewoodwork Thu 18-Aug-11 14:07:15

Yes Chickens, I'm sure this is called detached engagement.

LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 18-Aug-11 14:12:05

No, I don't agree with your premise. You're saying that two people disagreeing has some bearing on where the truth is ... IMO it doesn't. I just don't think truth works like that.

All you can really say is, if you have an angry disagreement with someone and you reckon you're both intelligent and rational, you're probably going to have to discuss if further. But your disagreement doesn't have the power to change the nature of truth, does it?

I mean ... for example, we know that very intelligent, rational people in the past have disagreed hugely about issues, where we now believe we know what the truth is. Rational, intelligent people argued with other rational, intelligent people about whether or not the world was round. The fact that there were two sides to that argument did not mean that truth lay in the middle of their views. The world remains round.

jennyvarnishessthewoodwork Thu 18-Aug-11 14:22:32

I don't think I've said anything which contradicts anything you've just written LRD; I haven't related the disagreement to the position of the truth (well, except to suggest that both people might actually have valid points and, therefore the truth may be nearer the middle than one end or the other) or suggested that the truth can be moved. I also noted that there is very rarely an absolute truth anyway...

I actually think we're making the same point in a way - feeling angry about something doesn't necessarily suggest that you are 'in the right'. I just mean this in a cautionary sense and setting it beside what I said earlier, which was that people should indeed be angry and make a fuss!

btw I'm in no way relating this to the feminist debate at the moment, which was of course your OP. Sorry to go off at a tangent.

LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 18-Aug-11 14:27:41

Well, when you say 'If two people disagree, the truth* may lie on a spectrum from 100% one person's position to 100% the other's', the grammar of that sentence is saying that the position of truth is dependent on the people's disagreement. That's what it means. That's not what you meant?

I do agree of course that being angry doesn't meant you're right - absolutely.

TrillianAstra Thu 18-Aug-11 14:47:09

This is assuming that when two people disagree they are disagreeing on something linear, and that they are at the far extremes:
opinionA . . . . . . truth is somewhere on this line. . . . . . .opinionB

it could be:
truth . . . . . . . .opinionA . . . . . . .opinion B
(eg opinion A is that we should sterilize everyone with ginger hair, opinion B that we should kill everyone with ginger hair, correct answer is not between the two at all but far off to the left of opinion A and actually we should be nice to people with red hair)

or it could be that there are more dimensions than just that between A and B
(can't draw it easily on here)

LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 18-Aug-11 14:56:48


Yes, that's the sort of thing I was thinking.

I think it's a big problem with radical feminism, actually. It's not uncommon for people to be surprised and a bit offended that I don't want to compromise on certain issues - they see it as kind of odd or even misguided. So for example I was talking to someone who insists that women should expect to earn less than men because they have babies and so don't work so many hours. And I was trying to put my point forward that, y'know, there might be a problem with the basic idea that babies are solely the woman's responsibility. He really didn't get it - he kept saying he could get behind the idea of slightly 'skewing' the law to make it less hard for people to discriminate against woman because they might have babies, but not too much. And got really upset because he thought he was compromising and so so should I. It was one of those conversations that really opened my eyes to the problem.

And just as you say, the way I visualize it, it's as if he thought we were two points on a line and should bring our views together in the middle ... I thought the whole basis of the argument was wrong. You can't compromise there!

LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 18-Aug-11 14:59:55

... sorry, as usual I need another post to get across what I actually mean! <rolls eyes at self>

The thing was, he really believed my argument was the other extreme to his on a line ... so he didn't get that I wanted to tear up the line itself and throw it away. I don't mean at all that I felt he should have agreed with me - it's just that what he thought was a compromise, moving closer to my position, wasn't any such thing. It was just moving about along the same line with my position somewhere completely different.

TrillianAstra Thu 18-Aug-11 15:01:38

He had a valid point (someone who has less experience or who works fewer hours should expect to be paid less) but what he didn't understand is that right now women get paid less even when you discount the fact that they often work fewer hours or have less experience because of taking time out for children.

Once women are paid correctly for their hours/experience then I will focus only on the expectation that women do the majority of childrearing and take care of the majority of the sick-child or childminder-on-holiday issues. Until then it is still valid to be campaigning for equality in the workplace.

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