Women's anger is often treated as irrational and unnecessary.... - Deepstash
<p>Women's anger is often trea...

Women's anger is often treated as irrational and unnecessary. Men's anger, on the other hand, usually seems righteous and justified.

Where does this disparity come from and what effects does it have?

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MORE IDEAS FROM Does Your Daughter Know It's OK To Be Angry? - Role Reboot

The effects of internalizing anger

Internalizing anger is just as harmful as violent outbursts, if not even more so.

Between the ages of 12 and 15, the number of girls who have depression triples, a rate three times that of same-age boys. Feelings of powerlessness and anger are also integral to the development of eating disorders. Suicide rates for girls between 10 and 14 tripled over the past 15 years.

Adult women are also more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety - both of which are further symptoms of internalized anger.

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How parents should act in the face of these findings

Girls should be told explicitly that it’s alright to feel anger. That it’s a healthy emotion that, as humans, they have the right to feel and express. It might not make them any friends, but that’s another topic entirely.

It also doesn’t mean giving children, girls or boys, a pass for violent, disruptive, or entitled behavior. Understanding and managing anger can be part of larger childhood lessons about resilience, empathy, and compassion.

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How girls deal with their anger

Adaptable girls find socially acceptable ways to internalize or channel their anger, often at great personal cost. Examples of this include:

  • Passive aggressive behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Apathy
  • Meanness
  • Lying
  • Skipping school
  • Bullying

All of these are often signs that a teenager is dealing with anger that they are unable to name as anger.

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Socialization starts as soon as children are born.

In one study, newborns were dressed in gender-neutral clothing and researchers misled adults about their sex. Parents were far more likely to describe the babies they thought were boys as upset or angry than the girls, who they categorized instead as nice and happy.

Boys are given more leeway in terms of being “out of control.” Parents and teachers expect girls to be able to control themselves more and hold them to higher standards, and so girls exhibit better self-regulation.

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Anger and presendential candidates

This is especially obvious during elections, where male candidates thump podiums, raise their voices, curse, and shout without being called divas, shrill, unhinged, ugly, or unlikeable.

Women, on the other hand, have to be much more careful when expressing any kind of strong feeling.

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There are many reasons why teenage girls specifically start feeling angry and powerless:

  1. They learn about the real impact of gender-based double standards.
  2. They also become aware of physical vulnerability, and experience sexual harassment for the first time.
  3. They begin to encounter the cultural erasure of women. The older girls get, the the fewer women they see in positions of power and leadership.
  4. They are navigating the stressful tension between managing their own sexuality and the crush of women’s pervasive sexual objectification.

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Women and men react differently to experiencing anger. For men, anger reinforces traditional gender expectations, for women it confounds them. That conflict by itself is a source of anxiety.

Girls are more likely to learn that their feelings of anger, no matter the reason they have them, are “wrong” and out of sync with their identities as girls. They are also more likely to intuit that to show anger puts their relationships at risk.

Even worse, they associate anger with being unattractive in a social milieu where few things are portrayed as worse for a girl.

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These unspoken gender rules result in girls losing awareness of their own anger.

Their anger builds up, but they don't have a healthy way of letting it out, so instead they do things like:

  • Cry for apparently no reason
  • Laugh inappropriately during difficult conversations
  • Fly off the handle over something that seems inconsequential

These behaviors are then treated as hysterical and unlikeable.

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Studies show that when men are angry, people tend to lose their own confidence and defer to men’s opinions. When women are angry, the opposite happens.

Studies also reveal that people will opt to work for angry-sounding aggressive men, but not with angry-sounding aggressive women.

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Girls, taught to ignore their anger, become disassociated from themselves.

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RELATED IDEA

Do you prefer to just keep swimming or whistle while you work? If you recognize these phrases, you are likely raised on Disney.

The Little Mermaid first came out 30 years ago and shortly after were released on home video. Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, Pocahontas, and the first two Toy Story movies followed in the 90s and were also released on video a year after their cinema release.

These home videos exposed kids repeatedly to Disney's cocktail of morality, stereotypes, and magic, and is bound to have an impact.

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Brands aim to be more gender inclusive

Today, many brands are acknowledging a need for gender fluidity in cosmetics; this means cosmetics brands can market to an entirely new demographic, resulting in an increase in sales).

Historically, makeup was never something associated with gender in the first place. In Ancient Egypt, for example, the use of eyeliner and other cosmetics was a sign of wealth—usually one that men donned to signal their status to passerby’s and strangers. In more recent history, people in the LGBTQ+ community have always used makeup as a way to connect with femininity and identity in a way they could not without it.

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Ideologies ≠ Ideologues

Ideologies: ideas that, disguised as science or philosophy, claim to explain the complexity of the world and offer remedies that will perfect it.

Ideologues: people who pretend they know how to “make the world a better place” before they’ve taken care of their own chaos within.

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