Comments on: Lessons for Girls, number one: Anger http://www.historiann.com/2011/05/19/lessons-for-girls-number-one-anger-2/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 21 Sep 2014 12:24:08 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Z http://www.historiann.com/2011/05/19/lessons-for-girls-number-one-anger-2/comment-page-1/#comment-829095 Tue, 24 May 2011 19:09:11 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15295#comment-829095 I also appreciate koshem boss’ comment.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/05/19/lessons-for-girls-number-one-anger-2/comment-page-1/#comment-827559 Fri, 20 May 2011 12:36:59 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15295#comment-827559 koshem Bos–I think you’re probably right that there’s a national as well as a gender angle to this anger. I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s the Disneyfied/Americanized version of fairy tales that make anger so verboten. Many of the original Grimm Brothers fairy tales have shockingly violent conclusions and/or bad ends for the bad actors, which I found so much more satisfying as a child. (Although they were creepier and scarier, but I probably liked that too.)

I never understood why the “Dean Scream” was such a dealbreaker, other than the Washington pundit class never liked Dean and leaped on it to make him look like a freak.

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By: LadyProf http://www.historiann.com/2011/05/19/lessons-for-girls-number-one-anger-2/comment-page-1/#comment-827370 Fri, 20 May 2011 04:58:33 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15295#comment-827370 One of my favorite posts and I’m glad to see it again. Recent Ph.D., you are absolutely right. Ditto you, Historiann: Women still get forced to work for free or at a discount. And because they do, their cooperation becomes proof that nothing’s wrong with the world. Talk about patriarchal equilibrium.

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By: koshem Bos http://www.historiann.com/2011/05/19/lessons-for-girls-number-one-anger-2/comment-page-1/#comment-827306 Fri, 20 May 2011 01:24:17 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15295#comment-827306 You guys grew up in the American culture where anger is improper; be cool. Look at Obama, the Republicans spit in his face; he remains cool. They dis him; he is cool. You can continue.

Emigrants like me came, in most cases, from cultures where anger, frustration, despise are legitimate everyday regular reactions.

Remember when Howard Dean “screamed?” Most of the country went berserk. Dean was frustrate and angry, but optimistic. Others thought it’s not cool. We all got Kerry (and then Obama). Thanks, I am quite angry.

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By: Comrade PhysioProf http://www.historiann.com/2011/05/19/lessons-for-girls-number-one-anger-2/comment-page-1/#comment-827297 Fri, 20 May 2011 00:57:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15295#comment-827297 Excellent post! One thing to add is that in order for anger to be a useful means of exerting power, it needs to be expressed in a controlled and measured fashion. The expression of uncontrollable rage *decreases* social power.

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By: Z http://www.historiann.com/2011/05/19/lessons-for-girls-number-one-anger-2/comment-page-1/#comment-827288 Fri, 20 May 2011 00:29:45 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15295#comment-827288 Good post of course and good idea to repost, and I am more horrified than ever at that experience of Clio Bluestocking’s.

Recent PhD, remember, you are admirable!

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/05/19/lessons-for-girls-number-one-anger-2/comment-page-1/#comment-827259 Thu, 19 May 2011 22:04:02 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15295#comment-827259 Granted the realities of the market today, but can you imagine anyone saying that to a recent Ph.D. who was male?

No–I can’t imagine it at all. Although of course I’m a good historian and a good feminist who resists generalizations, but one transhistorical, transcultural reality of women throughout recorded history is that women are expected either to volunteer their labor or sell it at a dramatic discount relative to men’s wages.

It sounds like you have good reason to be angry, but quitting your adjunct job for (relatively) better wages might be a helpful start. You will figure out a way of using your talents and your degree outside of academia.

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By: recent Ph.D. http://www.historiann.com/2011/05/19/lessons-for-girls-number-one-anger-2/comment-page-1/#comment-827252 Thu, 19 May 2011 21:33:15 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15295#comment-827252 A resounding yes to this: “Anger is the only rational and healthy reaction to exploitation and injustice.”

Anger made me quit my adjunct gig a few months ago instead of sticking around and “holding out” for something better. I’m still angry, but at least now I’m getting paid enough to support myself.

At the same time, I don’t feel like I can express my anger — either at academe or at the many frustrations of a different kind that arise at my new position — without it being turned against me anywhere except on my blog. I’m so tired of people telling me I should be “grateful” now that I have a “decent” job as a secretary…after devoting a decade to the goal of becoming a professor? Granted the realities of the market today, but can you imagine anyone saying that to a recent Ph.D. who was male?

Thanks for reposting. I missed it the first time around, too.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/05/19/lessons-for-girls-number-one-anger-2/comment-page-1/#comment-827237 Thu, 19 May 2011 20:39:06 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15295#comment-827237 You’re right, BigBossLady–I don’t deal with race in this post at all, which means that it’s pretty much reflective of a middle-class white woman’s experience. I’ve thought about African American men and anger somewhat, because for them expressions of anger can be potentially deadly (in encounters with the police, etc.) The link you provide above to Racialicious is a good explanation of the bind that African American women are in, but it doesn’t really offer a remedy. (As if there is one?)

I should say that I think that open, over-the-top expressions of anger are rarely helpful to anyone of any race or sex or class background, but in my experience the only shouting/screaming matches I’ve witnessed at work have been all white men. I think most of us understand that there are different consequences for this kind of expression of anger, and white men have more leeway to express themselves this way without being called “irrational” or “emotional” (the way women of all ethnic backgrounds might be) or without scaring people (the way that an angry African American or Latino man might be.) Anger is definitely a privilege of rank in the workplace, too. I’ve personally never seen an untenured person fly off the handle, although I’ve heard stories in other departments. . .

I think we can be angry and use anger productively without seeming like screaming idiots (as in Ms.McD’s experience with angry colleagues.) For me, thinking about and clarifying boundaries is a really helpful technique, both inside my head and also in relationships with others. You can tell other people what kind of behavior or comments you will and won’t accept if they’re expecting some action or some work from you. This is difficult, especially because creating and enforcing boundaries is also a privilege of rank, but the alternative is never enforcing boundaries, and that seems like an even more miserable way to live.

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By: Stacey http://www.historiann.com/2011/05/19/lessons-for-girls-number-one-anger-2/comment-page-1/#comment-827232 Thu, 19 May 2011 20:23:31 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15295#comment-827232 Thank you. I needed to see this today: fabulous timing.

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