I have those thoughts because it's happened to me. My entire life. When I was a little kid, my anger was mocked and laughed at and called "cute." The angrier I got, the more they laughed. When they didn't laugh, they told me it wasn't okay to be angry. Or they would ignore it. Or they would punish me for it.
This despite the fact that the men in my family were 100% allowed to express their anger, and it was taken seriously, no matter how fucking trivial it was. I know many women experienced the same thing in their families.
|I'm so sad.... JUST KIDDING I'M AWESOME|
This piece of writing is to make my official declaration about my anger, which I would shout from the rooftops if I had rooftop access to my apartment building, so I will just put it here in big letters:
MY ANGER IS FUCKING WONDERFUL AND I LOVE IT. MY ANGER GIVES ME STRENGTH AND I AM THANKFUL FOR IT. THANK FUCK FOR ANGER.
Okay? Understand? Now please stop trying to take it away from me. It won't work and it will only make me hate you a little. Or a lot.
Now, I'm a little more patient and forgiving with the people I know personally, and they are the ones telling me not to be angry, so I'm going to take time out of my day to explain something to them.
You're mistaking righteous anger for unproductive anger. Get this into your heads: THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ANGER. There is anger that makes me unhappy, that feels unpleasant and makes me an unpleasant person to be around. This is the anger about small inconveniences, anger that comes from being in a bad mood, being sleep deprived, having a bad cold or stress from work. This is better described as frustration or irritation, and yeah, it sucks for everyone involved. I don't like that anger.
And then there's the anger that comes from having fights with people I care about. From feeling betrayed or neglected or not listened to, etc. That anger doesn't come from fear but it involves a lot of fear, because it requires confrontation to fix and it I'm always afraid that a relationship will be ruined because of it. The fear makes it unpleasant, as well as the sadness that comes from being in conflict with someone I love. Sometimes the anger itself feels good, depending on the situation - other times it feels wrong. I don't like being angry at people I care about, but that anger is a necessary part of the process, and therefore healthy. It can be expressed in a way that's unhealthy or unproductive, but trying not to feel it at all is definitely unhealthy.
Then there's the anger I express on this blog. Anger that comes from observing sexism, racism, transphobia/transmisogyny, homophobia, fat hatred, ableism, etc. Anger that comes from seeing injustice in the world. Anger that comes from seeing people hurt and suffer and dealing with unfair obstacles while society and the government allows it or perpetuates it. Anger that comes from witnessing cruelty.
How is this anger bad? How does this anger come from fear? How will this anger hurt me? I mean, yeah, I'm not happy while I'm angry at these things, but this doesn't mean that the anger makes me unhappy. My anger over these issues gives me fire, gives me strength, gives me life! It's given me a purpose during a time where I'm struggling to find a place in the world - as many of my peers are - or even find a reason to believe such a place exists.
This kind of anger is a blessing for me. I was taught that being angry was not okay and for a long time, I held it in, until it warped into depression and bitterness. Rediscovering my anger and learning that expressing it is okay is one of the best things that ever happened to me. I thank my lucky stars that I was able to see a wonderful therapist who helped return that gift to me. In many ways, my anger makes me a happier person.
So you'll excuse me if I respond badly to anyone who tries to take that away from me again. And honestly, while people may feel bad for me (or say they feel bad for me as a passive aggressive way to attack me), I feel bad for those who don't get angry about this stuff. Honestly, what's wrong with you? If you have to avoid reading about or thinking about these issues for your own safety or psychological well being, I totally get that. But how dead inside do you have to be to read about terrible injustices and then laugh at or scold people who get pissed about it? Why aren't you pissed? What is wrong with you?
I mean, I know what's wrong with you. I went through the same phase of thinking that all anger makes people unhappy and that it's best just to approach things without emotion, thinking this was "reasonable" or "logical," when it's actually the opposite. Such a belief is encouraged by a society ruled by privileged people who don't want change and know that anger fuels change. But I will continue to suggest that something is fundamentally wrong with people who think this way, because that's the example I want to set. I want to spread the mindset that a lack of anger about injustice is fucked up and wrong. Spread the counter-message. There's nothing wrong with me, there's something wrong with YOU.
I'm happier than I've been in a long time now that I spend my days blogging about injustice. So fuck all of you who want to take that away from me. Fuck off forever.
|This is just so funny I had to post it.|