firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
This post sums up a lot about girls' and women's experience of anger, and as a person raised as a girl I relate to it a lot. It included many links to other articles, many of which I also added to this post.

[Edited to add: On Facebook it was pointed out that this post doesn't address the ways anger is racialized. I agree. When describing it I should have specified "white girls' and women's experience."]

"Does Your Daughter Know It’s OK To Be Angry?" by Soraya Chemaly
For men, anger reinforces traditional gender expectations, for women it confounds them.
while both men and women feel anger, and shame related to anger, they show what they feel in different ways. For men, anger reinforces traditional gender expectations, for women it confounds them.
Anger is diverted in women, who, as girls, lose even the awareness of their own anger as anger.
Interestingly, the reasons men and women tend to get angry differ. A 15-year study of girls and women found that there are three primary causes of anger that are not the same in men: feelings of powerlessness, injustice, and other people’s irresponsibility.
When most people think about anger management they think in terms of what can be seen: frustrated, foot-stomping people, most frequently portrayed as men, throwing things, maybe screaming or punching something. In 2004, researchers looking into gender and anger concluded that women’s complex management of anger “may not be accounted for by existing anger models.”
Unresolved anger contributes to stress, tension, anxiety, depression, and excessive nervousness. It is now estimated that 30% of all teen girls have anxiety disorders.
Clinicians believe that a large component of depression is anger and a specific type of anger caused by a perceived or actual loss or rejection. There are many reasons why girls might feel rejected, powerless, and angry.
[Teen girls] begin to encounter the cultural erasure of women, people who look like them and whom they are meant to emulate, as authoritative. The older girls get, the fewer women they see in positions of power and leadership. Boys and girls move from childhood realms where women are their primary caretakers, teachers, babysitters, neighborhood, and family adults to institutions where they are marginally represented as leaders. Role models are comparatively few and far between for girls who grow up gender code-switching in ways boys aren’t expected or, for the most part, allowed to. At the same time, the opposite is happening to boys whose confidence during the same period grows.
[Teen girls] are navigating the stressful tension between managing their own sexuality and the crush of women’s pervasive sexual objectification. Adults around them often unhelpfully elide the two. School dress codes, for example, are the perfect example of how attempts to stop girls from “sexualizing themselves” handily do the trick for them.
While anger in girls and women is overwhelmingly portrayed as irrational, it is, in fact, completely rational. Girls learn to filter their existences through messages of powerlessness and cultural worthlessness.
"Anger Reduces Women’s Ability to Influence Others" by Tom Jacobs
Angry men are strong and forceful, while angry women are often dismissed as overly emotional. That double standard has been alleged for years now, with plenty of anecdotal evidence to back it up.

A newly published study featuring a mock jury not only supports that assertion: It takes it a step further, suggesting women’s anger may actually be counterproductive. It finds that, while men who express anger are more likely to influence their peers, the opposite is true for women.
"Angry while female: Why it matters that Beyonce, Kelly Ripa and Samantha Bee won't hide their outrage" By Mary McNamara
As Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina found during the presidential debates, a woman who talks over a man will be instantly chastised for interrupting, even if she is attempting to answer a direct question, even if she has been interrupted first.
"Who me, angry? Patterns of anger diversion in women" by Cox DL1, Van Velsor P, Hulgus JF.
Researchers suggest that women's experience of anger is very complex and may not be accounted for by existing anger models. The current study was an attempt to clarify a model of women's anger proposed by Cox, Stabb, and Bruckner in Women's Anger: Clinical and Developmental Perspectives, 1999. Anger diversion focuses on women's attempts to bypass anger awareness, to use indirect means to cope with anger, or both.... We found that women who divert anger are more vulnerable to symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and somatization than are women who use an assertive approach to coping with anger.
"Nice Girls Don’t Ask" by Linda Babcock,Sara Laschever,Michele Gelfand, Deborah Small
Women often don’t get what they want and deserve because they don’t ask for it. In three separate studies, we found that men are more likely than women to negotiate for what they want. This can be costly for companies—and it requires management intervention.
Women are less likely than men to negotiate for themselves for several reasons. First, they often are socialized from an early age not to promote their own interests and to focus instead on the needs of others.
Second, many companies’ cultures penalize women when they do ask—further discouraging them from doing so. Women who assertively pursue their own ambitions and promote their own interests may be labeled as bitchy or pushy. They frequently see their work devalued and find themselves ostracized or excluded from access to important information.
This happens even in organizations that make concerted efforts to treat women fairly
This doesn't directly address anger, but since I retain anger over dress code shenanigans pulled on girls in high school, I'm including it.
"Dress Codes or How Schools Skirt Around Sexism and Homophobia" by Soraya Chemaly
Dress codes, while usually regulating boys’ slovenliness, tend to police girls for how much of their bodies are visible.
Some administrators start every school day with rigorous visual inspections as kids tumble onto campuses...inspections begin around the same time that young girls start experiencing daily street harassment and sexual harassment on campus....The well-documented, harmful effects of self-objectification that result from the policing of school dress regulations is not unlike those that result from street harassment. From the girls’ perspective, they’d started their day with people reviewing, having conversations about and publicly commenting on their bodies and were ending it in the same manner.
I Do Not Want My Daughter to Be ‘Nice’" by Catherine Newman
My 10-year-old daughter, Birdy, is not nice, not exactly. She is deeply kind, profoundly compassionate and, probably, the most ethical person I know — but she will not smile at you unless either she is genuinely glad to see you or you’re telling her a joke that has something scatological for a punch line.

This makes her different from me.
But when strangers talk to her, she is like, “Whatever.” She looks away, scowling. She does not smile or encourage.
I bite my tongue so that I won’t hiss at her to be nice. I tell you this confessionally. Because do I think it is a good idea for girls to engage with zealously leering men, like the creepy guy in the hardware store who is telling her how pretty she is? I do not....I want my daughter to be tough, to say no, to waste exactly zero of her God-given energy on the sexual, emotional and psychological demands of lame men — of lame anybodies. I don’t want her to accommodate and please. I don’t want her to wear her good nature like a gemstone, her body like an ornament.

Date: 16 May 2016 02:33 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Being chided for interrupting was one of the most humiliating parts of being a teenage girl. I hate Shawn so much.

Date: 16 May 2016 03:23 am (UTC)
serene: mailbox (Default)
From: [personal profile] serene
This is a great roundup. I am slowly reading my way through it. Maybe some thoughts from me after, but I wanted you to know how much I appreciate this.

Date: 16 May 2016 04:41 am (UTC)
boxofdelights: (Default)
From: [personal profile] boxofdelights
Thanks for the links! I really liked this one too:
Daniel Handler, "The Righteous Anger of Girls"

though maybe mostly for the sake of how well he writes angry girls in his fiction.

Date: 16 May 2016 05:47 am (UTC)
thnidu: glowing light bulb. (light bulb)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
This... is very important. Thank you for alerting this 60-plus male to some things he had barely been aware of before.

Date: 16 May 2016 06:32 am (UTC)
bibliofile: Fan & papers in a stack (from my own photo) (Default)
From: [personal profile] bibliofile
In 2004, researchers looking into gender and anger concluded that women’s complex management of anger “may not be accounted for by existing anger models.”

hahahahahahahahahaha ... ya think?! (I could've told them, if they asked me. But did they ask me? Nooooooo.)


Looking forward to reading all of these articles, probably one at a time. Excellent-looking roundup!

Date: 16 May 2016 08:27 am (UTC)
marahmarie: (M In M Forever) (Default)
From: [personal profile] marahmarie
I was the one who didn't smile back when the guys smiled at me who I had no interest in, and in the mid-80s, I have to tell you this rebellion of mine was both revolutionary and incomprehensible - thus easily dismissed as me being a mere one-off and/or absolutely off my rocker, crazy-bitch style.

But if the creep in question happened to be white and attractive I was also, if caught in the act, as I once was, chastised for my lack of interest, even at the tender age of, I think it was 15. The guy in question was a creep because he had to be at least 30 and I always looked young for my age. To me there was no way, but to Responsible Adult in charge, I was absolutely nuts for not smiling back. I had to explain after getting chastised and trying to justify it and after minutes of not being able to was summarily dismissed as not fully human (or feminine, I'm really not sure which) for a long time after.

I'm not sure if the point was I was supposed to smile back for the sake of pleasantry and abiding by the ironclad social code of the time, or if it even mattered that doing so might have encouraged said creep to pursue me for a date or at least my phone number or something. I didn't get to much explain or defend how I felt because that was irrational and wrong; what I thought or felt did not matter. The very fact of my existence was utterly dismissable; anything that happened within it, even more so. Just a girl.

So I got to sit around and contemplate why I did not want to smile back, and to accept the diagnosis that it was all in my crazy, unfriendly, clearly paranoid little head.

It's likely I did not stop blaming myself and considering myself an unsaveable lost soul over that one incident for the next 25-30 years of my life. It was probably not intended I feel that way, that I take that moment as a total loss, and the loss as a lesson as to why I would never do the most basic thing I was biologically programmed to do: pass for a normal girl, but then again, nothing was necessarily intended, because nothing I felt mattered.

I like how the women and younger girls are speaking up and speaking out now about all this. It's too late to save the older ones like me who've already been tormented out of their souls choices in how to feel, act and react and what to respond and not respond to, and who to date and not date and how to live or not live life, but it's not too late for them. The very act of their speaking up has begun to free me from my guilt at not being the soft, submissive thing that I had not been from birth and never will be until the day I die, who got molded, ever so persistently, to resemble something she still is not.

I can tell you today I'm glad for every last moment of that and all my similar rebellions. At least owning the memories of them makes me more normal by today's standards, even if my rebellions were staged in another, much more restrictive time that made me a freak by their standards, entirely.
Edited Date: 16 May 2016 08:49 am (UTC)

Date: 16 May 2016 10:12 am (UTC)
lilysea: Serious (Happy)
From: [personal profile] lilysea
Thank you for this. ^_^

I was talking to my psychologist the other day about how angry I was about the fact that, as a woman, society didn't allow me to be angry/express anger in the same way as men.

Date: 17 May 2016 12:08 am (UTC)
lilysea: Serious (Default)
From: [personal profile] lilysea
I honestly have no idea. We're doing EMDR for PTSD at the moment, so he doesn't respond to a lot of the stuff I'm saying.

Date: 16 May 2016 04:22 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] flippac
A variant I get a lot from other trans women: having my anger (which very much fits the models above) treated as if it's that of the men who've abused them even as they're angry themselves.

Given the presence abuse has had in my life the last four years in particular, this has put me in an awful lot of binds - but because I'm the vaguely butch-looking one (partly because survival: I get treated a lot worse for failing at femme than succeeding at something close to butch on my own terms) and I was forced to learn to fight, clearly I must want to use that to get my way even when the same person's watched me collapse quivering and catatonic at the prospect of having to.

I'm not really allowed to be nice on my own terms, of course - not for any length of time. And because they're less self-aware about the nature of their own anger, I have to not be angry however fucked up the things people do to me are. And I'm fully expecting at least one reader to twitch at the idea a butch-looking trans woman might be having these problems, if not to the point of actually commenting.

Date: 16 May 2016 07:09 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
I am an alien.

Date: 17 May 2016 06:35 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
Only women are allowed to be angry. Men are sarcastic and passive-aggressive instead. Women's anger can be physically violent or verbally abusive.

Date: 17 May 2016 01:41 am (UTC)
libskrat: (feminism: why yes I am angry)
From: [personal profile] libskrat
Having destroyed my own chances in one particular job with (wholly justified, dammit) expressions of anger and frustration... yeah. I have developed a GIANT case of the fukkits that informs my teaching and my (small) speaking career.

That's probably going to cost me a promotion in my current (much-loved) job... but that's going to be a matter of mutual agreement, I think. If I took that promotion I'd have to STFU about a lot of things, and I don't want to.

Am I angry? HELL YEAH. Am I nice? HELL NO. Does that make me a worthless person? The hell it does.

Date: 16 May 2016 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I enjoyed reading this.

Date: 16 May 2016 10:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's relevant to my immediate family (father, brother, sister; mother is long deceased) so I've now added you to the filter (Custom Friends Group) where I talk about those people. Confidential please: what's said on that filter stays there.


firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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