Rage Becomes Her
“In this powerful essay collection, Chemaly draws on interviews, research, and personal experience to examine why patriarchal Western cultures continue to demand that women silence their rage …Intelligent and keenly observed, this is a bracingly liberating call for the right of women to own their anger and use it to benefit a society ‘at risk for authoritarianism.’ Important, timely, necessary reading.” —Kirkus (starred review)“How many women cry when angry because we've held it in for so long? How many discover that anger turned inward is depression? Soraya Chemaly’s Rage Becomes Her will be good for women, and for the future of this country. After all, women have a lot to be angry about.” —Gloria SteinemA transformative book urging twenty-first century-women to embrace their anger and harness it as a tool for lasting personal and societal change. Women are angry, and it isn’t hard to figure out why.We are underpaid and overworked. Too sensitive, or not sensitive enough. Too dowdy or too made-up. Too big or too thin. Sluts or prudes. We are harassed, told we are asking for it, and asked if it would kill us to smile. Yes, yes it would.Contrary to the rhetoric of popular “self-help” and an entire lifetime of being told otherwise, our rage is one of the most important resources we have, our sharpest tool against both personal and political oppression. We’ve been told for so long to bottle up our anger, letting it corrode our bodies and minds in ways we don’t even realize. Yet our anger is a vital instrument, our radar for injustice and a catalyst for change. On the flip side, the societal and cultural belittlement of our anger is a cunning way of limiting and controlling our power.We are so often told to resist our rage or punished for justifiably expressing it, yet how many remarkable achievements in this world would never have gotten off the ground without the kernel of anger that fueled them? Rage Becomes Her makes the case that anger is not what gets in our way, it is our way, sparking a new understanding of one of our core emotions that will give women a liberating sense of why their anger matters and connect them to an entire universe of women no longer interested in making nice at all costs.Following in the footsteps of classic feminist manifestos like The Feminine Mystique and Our Bodies, Ourselves, Rage Becomes Her is an eye-opening book for the twenty-first century woman: an engaging, accessible credo offering us the tools to re-understand our anger and harness its power to create lasting positive change.

Rage Becomes Her Details

TitleRage Becomes Her
Author
ReleaseSep 11th, 2018
PublisherAtria Books
ISBN-139781501189555
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Feminism, Writing, Essays, Sociology, Womens, Politics, Gender, Self Help

Rage Becomes Her Review

  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    One of the most powerful books I've read this year, Rage Becomes Her gives voice to the causes, expressions, and possibilities of female rage. I will do a full video review on my YouTube channel Beautifully Bookish Bethany, but I cannot recommend this book enough. It says the things that have long needed saying. It also strikes the perfect note between anecdotes and hard research, making it very readable. This will make you reconsider everything.
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  • Krystle
    January 1, 1970
    Can you read about a book about rage without becoming angry? I certainly could not. Chemaly brings up many relatable experiences and topics: the role of women as selfless caretakers, fear of being publically harassed and shamed, women in politics, benevolent sexism, the #MeToo movement, Hollywood, and general injustices against women.Clearly, the main topic revolves around anger. Women are taught to suppress their anger because to express it would be unladylike and against gender norms. Instead Can you read about a book about rage without becoming angry? I certainly could not. Chemaly brings up many relatable experiences and topics: the role of women as selfless caretakers, fear of being publically harassed and shamed, women in politics, benevolent sexism, the #MeToo movement, Hollywood, and general injustices against women.Clearly, the main topic revolves around anger. Women are taught to suppress their anger because to express it would be unladylike and against gender norms. Instead of sticking to this unhealthy social norm, Soraya Chemaly encourages women to understand and use their anger, not in the name of vengeance, but as a way to create positive change in the world. This involves having uncomfortable conversations, asserting oneself, and getting involved, such as joining a protest or starting a petition.Overall, this was a great feminist read that encourages women to express themselves and strive for social change. She does not encourage blind rage or revenge, but encourages women to express and channel their rage in a healthy way, rather than allowing the anger to bubble up inside, which can negatively impact anyone. The book is intersectional and well researched. There were some sections that I found to be a bit dry, but I also found other sections to be completely absorbing. I would definitely recommend.
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  • Michaela
    January 1, 1970
    ---- Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ---- After thinking on it & reading the other reviews I honestly don't think I have anything else to add. It's a great book long overdue in existing. I try to stay well-versed in most of the kinds of information that was discussed in here, but even so I still learned new things, & spent some time mulling over the content. Having not been previously unfamiliar with this subject matter, I must admit that having it all in one p ---- Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ---- After thinking on it & reading the other reviews I honestly don't think I have anything else to add. It's a great book long overdue in existing. I try to stay well-versed in most of the kinds of information that was discussed in here, but even so I still learned new things, & spent some time mulling over the content. Having not been previously unfamiliar with this subject matter, I must admit that having it all in one place, & reading about it all collectively really put me in a mood, so to speak. It's an appropriate reaction, but all I'm saying is that for your own sake maybe this particular book isn't the best choice for taking along on certain occasions, like to holidays w/ your "I don't want to hear it" kind of relatives. (Although one might cheekily "forget" to pack it & leave it behind at their house, or something of that sort. ;) ) Other than that note, this is a book I have already passed on to others, & find myself still thinking & talking about, which I believe is exactly what this book was intended to do. As such, I must decree it a fabulous success! Definitely recommend it, even to those that will never accept the subject matter as legitimate, b/c the information needs to be in everyone's heads. I'm so glad this exists! Thanks, Ms. Chemaly.
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  • Roxanne
    January 1, 1970
    This is a Goodreads win review. This is not my favorite topic. I in general do not like rage and anger. However if a woman can grow and express these feelings correctly and move forward in a good way than I can see the point. But I have seen some people who stay angry forever about one thing or another and they seem to be miserable.
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  • Tasha Hilton
    January 1, 1970
    Often times we argue this topic with emotion and "rage" but Soraya provides not only insight about how to channel rage into power, but research that solidifies our feelings. Rage Becomes Her asks "What do we lose, personally and as a society, by not listening to women’s anger or respecting it?" - As we all encounter female influence at some point in our lives, this book will be important for you!
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  • Cavak
    January 1, 1970
    Compared to That's What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) about Working Together that I read earlier this year, Rage Becomes Her was a harder read for me to swallow. Both books highlight how sexist treatment still prevails in the USA and overlaps with other prejudices. I even stumbled on the same exact sources cited between them, but Chemaly will always note whenever there is a severe lack of medical and psychological studies for women. A good chunk of her sources a Compared to That's What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) about Working Together that I read earlier this year, Rage Becomes Her was a harder read for me to swallow. Both books highlight how sexist treatment still prevails in the USA and overlaps with other prejudices. I even stumbled on the same exact sources cited between them, but Chemaly will always note whenever there is a severe lack of medical and psychological studies for women. A good chunk of her sources are pulled from the headlines too, so take that as you will.What differs between them is the tone. Whereas Lipman hopes and advocates a harmonious collaboration between the sexes with friendly wit, Chemaly is all about refusing to censor and to throw half-hearted attempts to the wind. She is not without reason, as she explains thoroughly how and why she has taken this approach throughout the book, yet I imagine that it can be immediately off-putting to many readers. There is no such thing as an "average" approach towards feminism, and Chemaly wants you to know how being "on the sidelines" is an understandable yet rigidly unhelpful take. She does advocate talking and active listening, however, so do not confuse the entire book as hate-speak against the ambivalent or moderates. It's really more heated encouragement to stand up for equality, even if you're not immediately aware of its absence.I understand that Chemaly will come across as strong and bitter to many, perhaps too much for the sensitive hearted. Because even her examples from her personal life are worded with a sharp edge to them; there's no breaks to how enraged women can feel. Even I felt ill about reading the anger towards sheer injustice, to the point where I had to take breaks and clear my head before continuing. I still commend her for publishing her work when she is keenly aware of the backlash waiting for her.A few nitpicks I have is that I would have appreciated more insight on how the dynamic differs for her since an Asian-American insight isn't as prevalent in the mass media circuit. More proposed strategies and examples to handling anger constructively would have better balanced out the end of the book too.Would I recommend this book to a traditional conservative American individual? Hmm... that is where I hesitate. If they don't throw it out the window, it'll be scoffed at and condemned. If it's even read at all. Certainly do read this book if you think you have a thick skin or are curious about gaining another perspective on what many would constitute as "radical" feminism. Chemaly will break you in.I received the book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Anger is a Gift(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for discussions of sexism and misogyny, including sexual assault.)Ask yourself, why would a society deny girls and women, from cradle to grave, the right to feel, express, and leverage anger and be respected when we do? Anger has a bad rap, but it is actually one of the most hopeful and forward thinking of all of our emotions. It begets transformation, manifesting our passion and keeping us inv Anger is a Gift(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for discussions of sexism and misogyny, including sexual assault.)Ask yourself, why would a society deny girls and women, from cradle to grave, the right to feel, express, and leverage anger and be respected when we do? Anger has a bad rap, but it is actually one of the most hopeful and forward thinking of all of our emotions. It begets transformation, manifesting our passion and keeping us invested in the world. It is a rational and emotional response to trespass, violation, and moral disorder. It bridges the divide between what “is” and what “ought” to be, between a difficult past and an improved possibility. Anger warns us viscerally of violation, threat, and insult. By effectively severing anger from “good womanhood,” we choose to sever girls and women from the emotion that best protects us against danger and injustice.Anger is usually about saying “no” in a world where women are conditioned to say almost anything but “no.”Because the truth is that anger isn’t what gets in our way—it is our way. All we have to do is own it.-- 3.5 stars --After nearly ten years of marriage, and more than fifteen years together, my husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed away last year - leaving me a widow at the ripe old age of thirty-eight. The grief and shock quickly gave way to anger; in the process of reconciling his estate, I discovered secrets he'd been hiding from me. These were like a steady drip-drip-drip of awfulness that continued to pummel me in the weeks and months following his death. My aunt - one of the relatives who came out for an extended stay as part of "Kelly Duty," and who had a front seat to the dumpster fire that my life had become - said something that will always stick with me, and not in a good way. She was reading some paranormal/urban fantasy book at the time, and apparently the MC was not a fan of anger. She proceeded to give me this long speech about how anger poisons you from the inside out, and the only way to move on is through forgiveness. I'm sure she meant well, but the whole thing came off as insensitive, clueless, even manipulative. (I'm already feeling powerless, like I have zero control over anything in my life; now I don't even get to decide how I feel about things?) I was still in the thick of things then, with bad news coming at me on the daily. Even a year and a half on, I am absolutely seething with anger. Anyway, I didn't know quite how to answer her at the time - probably I didn't even have the energy for a rebuttal, and just let it go - but today, I am highly tempted to send her a copy of Soraya Chemaly's book (possibly in conjunction with Mark Oshiro's Anger Is a Gift, from which I borrowed the title for this review). Except I can't hardly afford it, which is the source of some of my anger. This isn't unusual, either, as I've learned from reading Rage Becomes Her: poverty, powerlessness, and a lack of authority are all associated with unexpressed anger. My continued rumination? Also par for the course. Rage Becomes Her is an interesting mix. Chemaly both explores the sources of women's anger (rape culture, the wage gap, the caring mandate, unpaid/undervalued care work - described as "the single greatest wealth transfer in today’s global economy" - sexualization and objectification, discrimination against pregnant or potentially pregnant women, the denial of women's physical pain, etc. etc. etc., so on and so forth), as well as the effects that unexpressed anger can have on a body, a psyche, a relationship, and a society (depression, anxiety, heart failure, physical pain, abuse, divorce, inequality, authoritarianism). In some ways, this reads a lot like Everyday Sexism , and similar books that catalog, interrogate, and challenge sexism and misogyny in modern culture. (In fact, Laura Bates and the Everyday Sexism Project do get a shout-out here. If you do any amount of feminist reading online, no doubt you'll recognize some of the activists mentioned in this book.) However, there's an added dimension that makes Rage Becomes Her unique: anger. In contrast to a lifetime's worth of social conditioning that teaches girls to smile and be nice, Chemaly encourages women and girls to acknowledge and embrace our anger, harnessing it in a constructive way, as a tool of social change. At least this is what Chemaly seems to be going for. I would've like to have seen more information on anger itself - examples of how activists have channeled it for positive change, for example - and less background information, for lack of a better word, on why women should be angry in the first place. Let's face it: most of the folks picking up a book provocatively titled Rage Becomes Her probably have a good enough grasp of feminism 101, right? (But I do really appreciate her emphasis on intersectionality, which is something all of us could use a continued refresher in.) Of course, as Chemaly herself points out, there's a dearth of research on the mediating effects of gender (and race and class) on emotions, particularly anger (not to be confused with assertiveness and aggression, which are behaviors) - so that book might be difficult to write, at least at this point in time. As it is, Rage Becomes Her is a good enough place to start. Fwiw, I read this book as an ARC. While I assume that it was thoroughly researched - as evidenced by a bibliography that comprises 21% of the Kindle file - the review copy did not contain footnotes, or even a suggestion of where they might go. This threw me for a loop since I'm the kind of dork that reads those things. I'm trying not to hold it against the finished copy, but it's a struggle. http://www.easyvegan.info/2018/09/11/...
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  • Hanna
    January 1, 1970
    Thorough, intersectional, illuminating, and fascinating are just a few of the words I'd use to describe this book. I learned so much and feel inspired to stay angry and take action. Anger doesn't have to be the negative emotion we're taught it is. Anger is the emotion that recognizes injustices and leads to systemic changes. The only criticism is that at times it felt a bit academic and textbook-y, which sometimes made it not easily accessible. Excellent book for starting conversations around th Thorough, intersectional, illuminating, and fascinating are just a few of the words I'd use to describe this book. I learned so much and feel inspired to stay angry and take action. Anger doesn't have to be the negative emotion we're taught it is. Anger is the emotion that recognizes injustices and leads to systemic changes. The only criticism is that at times it felt a bit academic and textbook-y, which sometimes made it not easily accessible. Excellent book for starting conversations around the productivity of anger and how to better channel & express it.
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  • Cristine Mermaid
    January 1, 1970
    This book was incredibly enlightening and empowering. I have been struggling with rage and trying to get rid of it unsuccessfully or to hold it in which only made it come out in destructive ways. This book was liberating in that it was not about 'managing' or 'diffusing' anger but about using it as force for good, channeling the energy and passion that comes with it to propel change. As this books says, anger is there for a reason, it is trying to tell us something. We need to listen to it.The c This book was incredibly enlightening and empowering. I have been struggling with rage and trying to get rid of it unsuccessfully or to hold it in which only made it come out in destructive ways. This book was liberating in that it was not about 'managing' or 'diffusing' anger but about using it as force for good, channeling the energy and passion that comes with it to propel change. As this books says, anger is there for a reason, it is trying to tell us something. We need to listen to it.The chapters all resonated, of course some more than others. The first chapter is about how women are discouraged from showing anger, women are taught to be good little girls and that anger means you are a bitter cynical shrew. Of course, anger internalized becomes depression and not showing anger or allowing yourself to feel it makes it difficult to stand up for yourself. This chapter was about the appropriateness of anger and that it isn't a character flaw to feel or express it and gives examples of how rage has been the main force behind social change. The other chapters cover various topics that women feel angry about, research about the social and cultural issues that affect them, and the history behind them. It also discusses how marginalized and dismissive society can be about women's anger (don't you know women in other countries have it worse, therefore you have no right to your feelings about this injustice!) The issues covered include the pressure to maintain a perfect body that almost no one can achieve or maintain, sexual harassment and the threat of sexual assault, the expectations that we will put our own needs and wants aside to care for everyone else, the expectations of the unpaid labor that it is assumed we will do and the assumption that it doesn't take anything from us to do it because we 'like' it and are naturally geared toward doing it, the fact that the medical community takes us less seriously, issues in the workforce and politics, family dynamics, etc etc etc. The book truly covers a lot of different issues and it resonated STRONGLY with me. Frequently as I read this book, I was impressed with how well the author articulated my own feelings and experiences and it was incredibly reassuring to learn that others felt the same way. It validated so many issues and life experiences I have personally struggled with and gave me hope that there is a better way.I highly recommend this book for any women who struggle with anger. The last couple of chapters were about how to channel that anger into positive life changes and activism.
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  • Terena
    January 1, 1970
    This book doesn't know what it wants to be. In the ARC, it's marketed, titled, and introed as an exploration into women's anger -- how the emotion manifests differently in women than in men, how women handle (suppress?) it, the effect it has on women's bodies. And in the beginning, it is, and this part of the book is fantastic. But then the narrative shifts with each new chapter an exploration into something unrelatedly different: a tirade about women not being paid as much, hodge-podge generali This book doesn't know what it wants to be. In the ARC, it's marketed, titled, and introed as an exploration into women's anger -- how the emotion manifests differently in women than in men, how women handle (suppress?) it, the effect it has on women's bodies. And in the beginning, it is, and this part of the book is fantastic. But then the narrative shifts with each new chapter an exploration into something unrelatedly different: a tirade about women not being paid as much, hodge-podge generalizations about men having a lower pain threshold, a section on public restroom design. It stops being a book about anger and starts being a list of -- I don't know, I guess everything that makes the author angry. Then the narrative shifts AGAIN, turning into some sort of self-help book for women with inane tips like "get a therapist" (followed by several paragraphs on how therapy doesn't help women). Well, I don't need therapy to help me deal with my anger over this book. I just threw it against the wall and moved on.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    At times difficult to read, the author discusses how there is pressure on girls to be nice, amenable, and not make waves. She discusses not only sexual assault and domestic violence, but also objectification; one boy in a group of students asks her why sending a picture of nude girls is any different than sending a picture of a toaster. Studies have shown that women who complain of pain are often dismissed as emotional, and given sedatives instead of the pain medicine offered to men. The author At times difficult to read, the author discusses how there is pressure on girls to be nice, amenable, and not make waves. She discusses not only sexual assault and domestic violence, but also objectification; one boy in a group of students asks her why sending a picture of nude girls is any different than sending a picture of a toaster. Studies have shown that women who complain of pain are often dismissed as emotional, and given sedatives instead of the pain medicine offered to men. The author presents numerous examples of unequal treatment which women have accepted, and are still expected to accept. Girls learn early that “reacting in anger might lead to worse outcomes.”
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  • Brie
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads contest.This was not new information to me. It just expanded on thoughts I had and excited me that I was not the only one having them. Definitely presented in a readable, good, way. I will be recommending this book to many women I know when it is released in Sept.
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  • Tatyana Ferrer
    January 1, 1970
    The title alone is very intriguing . Though I have not read the book yet , I can tell that is a book that I would be interested in . As a woman who has experienced high levels of anger , I feel that it is important to know where the problem stems from .
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  • Alyssa Martaus
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fantastic read and deeply moving! I couldn't put it down.
  • Cati Bedsworth
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book through a giveaway. I have to say it was very enlightening. Pleasantly surprised!
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