The Power of Women's Anger by Sue Whitcomb

As Martin Luther King, Jr., famously said: “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” That is a truth we embrace fervently for the hope and love and light it brings.

If we examine the history of humanity, it’s true also that the fulcrum, the lever, the pressure necessary to bend the arc, to create meaningful change, is often anger.

Anger is what is needed now. The anger of WOMEN is what the world has been waiting for.

Our next “Feminist Friday” on August 14th will explore the theme of women’s anger through the lens of books from two contemporary feminist writers:

“Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower” by Brittney Cooper

“Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger” by Rebecca Traister

Women are conditioned to reject anger, even to fear it. Women often conflate anger with violence, and are justified in doing so. After all, the anger of men is often expressed violently and then accepted as the price of peace or security. The greater part of our past is defined by ‘Might means Right.” Even today, violence is tolerated far more than we allow ourselves to believe.

It’s risky on many different levels in our society for a woman to express anger, regardless of its source. Because anger is not submissive, it’s not modest, it’s not meek. There is power in anger, and powerful women are powerfully dangerous to the status quo. It’s no accident that the anger of girls and women is relentlessly suppressed from the moment of birth.

Twelve Angry Men are righteous. Twelve Angry Women are just a bunch of bitches.

Or maybe they get to be a bunch of “Moms” who have been pushed so hard that they become capable of “demanding” attention in the service of protecting their offspring. Women’s anger is acceptable and accepted only when it is maternal in nature. Even then, it must not be too intense or too challenging or too “feminist.” Heaven forbid that what women want is something beyond the prescribed role as mother protectors. That would make them “man-haters.”

There is power in anger. Women are, by our very nature, generative and creative. In the community of women, anger can become a tool of transformation. It’s time to claim anger as our own.


(Image courtesy of The Women's March)

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