Rage Becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly

Staff Pick

There are probably scores of books about women’s anger, but few identify themselves as such—which makes Soraya Chemaly’s brilliant, comprehensive, dead-on study, Rage Becomes Her (Atria, $27), essential and long overdue. First off, what do angry women look like? To men, they might look hysterical, out of control, childish. Knowing this, women disguise anger as sadness, frustration, disappointment—anything but anger. And soon enough that repressed rage becomes depression, anxiety, self-doubt, and eating disorders. It turns from what it is for men—an expression of power—to a pathology, a cause of shame, and a learned helplessness. Women’s anger has been so devalued, Chemaly shows, that it seldom comes up in debates about gender gaps. When women learn about anger, what they learn isn’t how to express it productively and appropriately—though they’re sometimes allowed to be angry on someone else’s behalf--they’re taught to be quiet and deferential, and anger simply isn’t deferential. “If men understood how angry the women around them are, they’d be speechless,” Chemaly says. And in case they’d prefer to think of these stories of bullies, mansplainers, stalkers, dismissive doctors, etc., as being all in women’s minds, Chemaly cites study after study, statistic after statistic.

Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501189555
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Atria Books - September 11th, 2018

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