My boyfriend is one of the kindest people I know. He doesn't agree with expressing anger to others, he prefers to help them understand why and how. I do agree with his message. Most of the time I express my knowledge with kindness. I use my public voice to speak up against injustice of oppressed groups. I strongly believe in using my profession as a sex therapist and student of psychology to help people deal with trauma and oppression causes. This is the kindness he refers to.
Unfortunately, kindness alone does not give oppressed groups equal rights. Sometimes you need to move forward and act, for Stonewall this was Transgender women of colour throwing bricks at police. Whilst I do not agree with violence the importance of groups like Stonewall and the impact they had for the LGBT-movement cannot be underestimated - this is where I believe in helping to understand why and how.
For thousands of years, women have been oppressed, subdued and silenced. Smile - don’t speak unless you are spoken to. And no matter what, do not express anger. That’s not ladylike. That is an aged outdated perspective. Kindness did not give us the legal rights we have today. Angry women protesting did! And we have not reached our goal. Currently we don’t have equal pay, men in congress are still establishing laws on women’s reproductive systems, and women around the world are trapped in medieval patriarchal societies with little to no rights.
Anger is there for a reason
I understand why expressing anger can make people - including my boyfriend - uncomfortable. We are taught to hide and bury anger. Anger is not a nice feeling and it can be difficult to manage not only personal anger, but anger from other people too. Anger might make your heart beat faster, palms sweaty stomach ache and head pound. All signs to get your attention; something is wrong. Anger will help acknowledge and meet your needs . Get angry on other people’s behalf too - it will drive you to act , none more so than stepping in and stopping the actions of a bully. Anger will tell you where your boundaries are and if someone is overstepping them. This is where you can say no.
For a women speaking up about injustice it takes courage to stand in the face of being "nothing but a man-hating feminazi". Some men will forever try to shut you up because of course it’s not nice to lose privilege. But it’s a necessity for equality. When women finally gained the right to vote in Denmark in 1915, they refused to include the words ‘thank you’ in their speech as you shouldn’t have to thank anyone for basic human rights. Just like you should not thank any man for treating you with dignity and respect. That’s the baseline and everyone should expect that.
As you should not thank anyone for common decency, you should never apologise for being angry about having your boundaries overstepped, being objectified, belittled, victimised, abused or even worse. Your anger is legitimate. The anger you feel in your stomach when someone treats you with disrespect is there for a reason and it’s okay to act on it.
If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention
I realise anger is important - I have been trapped previously by a psychopath for four years, without the ability to express any negative emotions on how I was treated . It has built up inside of me for so many years and I will no longer apologise for expressing it.
I’m not special. I’m part of a sad statistic of women being harassed, abused, raped and killed. This happens every second in every country. (If you have a voice inside your head saying “but men get raped too” listen; yes, men get raped too but why would you feel the need to make a women’s issue about men? And when men get raped it’s mostly by other men so we are facing the same devil anyway; toxic masculinity). No one should get abused but we do have a massive problem with women’s bodies seen as something you can own. Men who abuse, rape and kill feel entitled to do it.
This should make you not only angry, but outrageous!