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  • Traditional Femininity and Me: Controlling my ‘Masculine’ Anger

    We all process anger differently; whether it be down to someone scuffing your white Air Force Ones in the line to the bathroom door, or someone making a constructive critique that you really didn’t like (we’ve all had that happen)! You’ll either pretend to pass it off (but let it play on your mind all day); or, if you’re like me, sometimes its the bigger things – like a man making a comment about your legs on the street – that you’re more concerned about.

    In my mind I want to yell at that man, and scream at everyone about him making a dirty comment on my legs. My anger as I’ve seen throughout the years, even starting in kindergarten, appears to be a ‘threat to men‘ – and even other women! I’ve known since I was 10 years old that me being too angry and acting in a non-rational matter wasn’t the best way to deal with things, according to my mother, but as I grow and grow and I see more in the media about fearless, outspoken women and how they deal with anger and their anger towards the world, it makes me feel better about myself.

    It’s surprising, when you have an older brother like myself, how quickly they’ll give into your violent tendencies! They let you play first shooter games and Mortal Kombat where they teach you how to make fatalities and scream at the site of breaking the other character’s legs. He’ll fight with you, punch you and kick you around while you fight back kicking and screaming “come on, come on!

    We both talked about Dragonball Z, and he’d teach me about different sports and their drafts. He’d treat me like a younger brother, but then the rest of the world wouldn’t seem to like that. I remember when fighting for the fact that I ‘cheated on an exam’ and my outbursts seemed to threaten the teacher, which she didn’t like. It’s almost as if I yelled at her and threatened her with a pair of scissors! I spoke at her with strength and direction, like as my brother, a man, had taught me.

    I was taught to express my anger at home, yet society would mute me. As a little girl, I’d get sent to the head for fighting with the little boy who would pull up my pigtails in the playground; and get weird looks in eighth grade when I would chip in to the conversation about the latest war video game. I’m not saying that it’s like the ‘I’m not like other girls‘ trend, it’s just that I grew up with a brother. Aggressive, ‘male energy’ was all I knew.

    I love practicing ‘traditional femininity’; I love wearing facemasks, wearing make up, dressing up and talking to boys – but when it comes to the idea that we’re not allowed to be angry or act irrationally because it becomes a threat to men? It’s ridiculous to me.

    Negative responses at my anger had told me to not seek help, but to stuff it in me and leave it; like the elephant’s foot in Chernobyl. I feel that now with our current political and social climate, how people in positions of power are telling women what to do with our bodies, and how our opinions are being ignored, we feel a similar concept. My issues with anger, ever since Trump was elected, have certainly been spiralling. However, our anger is understood now, angry women are now validated and seen.

    Ever since 2019 I’ve been seeking help for my anger and (God bless her) my therapist has been helping me channel my anger to a more positive light, yet still not trying to make my anger become once again that elephants foot. If you feel like you have these anger problems please speak up on them and try to seek help, whether it’s through a counselor or a therapist, it’s better to speak on them instead of stuffing them inside yourself and leaving them like radioactive bile in your stomach.

    Radioactive bile that, one day, might cause an explosion.

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    Michelle Underwood
    Michelle Underwood

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