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Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger

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A 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 A 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.


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A 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 A 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.

30 review for Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger

  1. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    3.5 stars Really loved the thesis of this book, that women's anger is a powerful force for change in response to sexism and discrimination. Soraya Chemaly is intersectional and all-encompassing in Rage Becomes Her, as she interweaves the experiences of women of color and lampoons the sexism that occurs in the workplace, in online communities, in families, and more. She discusses several important topics that parallel the power of women's anger, such as how women are expected to do so much more em 3.5 stars Really loved the thesis of this book, that women's anger is a powerful force for change in response to sexism and discrimination. Soraya Chemaly is intersectional and all-encompassing in Rage Becomes Her, as she interweaves the experiences of women of color and lampoons the sexism that occurs in the workplace, in online communities, in families, and more. She discusses several important topics that parallel the power of women's anger, such as how women are expected to do so much more emotional labor than men while also receiving punishment for expressing emotions like anger whereas men get praised for it. One of the many quotes about the uses of anger that I appreciated: "What if we used frustration, irritation, humiliation, anger, and other 'negative' feelings to be methodical and demanding? First at home, then at school, then at work. This would mean critically assessing the comforting habits we support out of nostalgia and tradition, which would require no small measure of effort. It means walking out of places of worship, not buying certain movie tickets, closing certain books and picking up others, refusing to pay for certain products, and finding compelling ways to disagree with friends and family at the dinner table. It means explaining to grandparents, engaging with school administrators, and demanding rights at work. The slow and productive burn of anger is an asset. But leveraging it means taking a risk: the risk of finding out how much what you care about matters to your community." Only giving this a lower star rating because the format of the book dragged a bit for me. Again, I loved the actual content and Chemaly's take-home message, I just found that some of the sections blurred together and read like a long list of research findings and related facts without a more cohesive structure. Still, I liked the book, and I am glad to see its emergence alongside other recent books about women's anger, like Eloquent Rage by Brittany Cooper, which I loved, and Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister, which I have and will read soon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    In Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger, author Soraya Chemaly explores and confronts the gendering of emotions, in this case the gender ideas of anger. Social norms teach us that anger expressed by females is undesirable, uncomfortable, and certainly not feminine, unlike with males where it is accepted because of its normalized tie to masculinity. She discusses how this suppression of anger harms women physically, emotionally, professionally and politically, and how the world would bene In Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger, author Soraya Chemaly explores and confronts the gendering of emotions, in this case the gender ideas of anger. Social norms teach us that anger expressed by females is undesirable, uncomfortable, and certainly not feminine, unlike with males where it is accepted because of its normalized tie to masculinity. She discusses how this suppression of anger harms women physically, emotionally, professionally and politically, and how the world would benefit from the much needed voice that the healthy and penalty-free expression of women's anger would provide. Chemaly stresses that Rage Becomes Her is not a self-help book nor is it an anger management guide. “Self-help, different from self-efficacy, is frequently what you do when you aren't getting the help you need from your society. We cannot “self-help” our way to being heard, taken seriously, paid fairly, cared for adequately, or treated with dignity. We cannot “self-help” our way to peace or to justice.” Chemaly's research and writing provides enormous validation as she connects the dots between ignored anger and common women's issues ranging from shame to chronic pain, while also offering a look at culture, sexualization, women's rights, #MeToo, raising girls, and even the beauty industry which profits from it all. Rage Becomes Her is bold, confrontational, and angry, and it embodies Chemaly's very message that women's anger can lead to meaningful change. It embraces femininity and feminism equally, because it is. “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.” My favorite quote: "If #MeToo has made men feel vulnerable, panicked, unsure, and fearful as a result of women finally, collectively, saying 'Enough!' so be it. If they wonder how their every word and action will be judged and used against them, Welcome to our world. If they feel that everything they do will reflect on other men and be misrepresented and misunderstood, take a seat. You are now honorary women."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura Noggle

    ~ New Feminist Canon ~ Enlightening, enriching, and inspiring not to accept the patriarchy as the norm. This book looks at the anatomy and power of anger, and how it can be used to disrupt the social power dynamic. There is so much I want to say about this book, but my best advice is simply: read it. I've been on a feminist reading streak this month, and Rage Becomes Her is by far the most amazing one I've read ... ever. Although I previously stated Good and Mad was essential reading for 2019, th ~ New Feminist Canon ~ Enlightening, enriching, and inspiring not to accept the patriarchy as the norm. This book looks at the anatomy and power of anger, and how it can be used to disrupt the social power dynamic. There is so much I want to say about this book, but my best advice is simply: read it. I've been on a feminist reading streak this month, and Rage Becomes Her is by far the most amazing one I've read ... ever. Although I previously stated Good and Mad was essential reading for 2019, this book is even more powerful, and they make excellent tandem reads. Are you a woman? Read this book. "Anger is an assertion of rights and worth. It is communication, equality and knowledge. It is intimacy, acceptance, fearlessness, embodiment, revolt, and reconciliation. Anger is memory and rage. It is rational thought and irrational pain. Anger is freedom, independence, expansiveness, and entitlement. It is justice, passion, clarity, and motivation. Anger is instrumental, thoughtful, complicated, and resolved. In anger, whether you like it or not, there is truth. Anger is the demand of accountability. It is evaluation, judgement, and refutation. It is reflective, visionary and anticipatory. It's a speech act, a social statement, an intention, and a purpose. It's a risk and a threat. A confirmation and a wish. It is both powerlessness and power, palliative and a provocation. In anger, you will find both ferocity and comfort, vulnerability and hurt. Anger is the expression of hope. How much anger is too much? Certainly not the anger that, for many of us, is a remembering of a self we learned to hide and quiet. It is willful and disobedient. It is survival, liberation, creativity, urgency, and vibrancy. It is a statement of need. An insistence of acknowledgment. Anger is a boundary. Anger is boundless. An opportunity for contemplation and self-awareness. It is commitment. Empathy. Self-love. Social responsibility. If it is poison, it is also the antidote. The anger we have as women is an act of radical imagination. Angry women burn brighter than the sun. In the coming years, we will hear, again, that anger is a destructive force, to be controlled. Watch carefully, because not everyone is asked to do this in equal measure. Women, especially, will be told to set our anger aside in favor of a kinder, gentler approach to change. This is a false juxtaposition. Reenvisioned, anger can be the most feminine of virtues: compassionate, fierce, wise, and powerful. The women I admire most—those who have looked to themselves and the limitations and adversities that come with our bodies and the expectations that come with them—have all found ways to transform their anger into meaningful change. In them, anger has moved from debilitation to liberation. Your anger is a gift you give to yourself and the world that is yours. In anger, I have lived more fully, freely, intensely, sensitively, and politically. If ever there was a time not to silence yourself, to channel your anger into healthy places and choices, this is it." "Sexism might alter your day, but misogyny and the power behind it will alter your life outcomes and shape the world around you at every level."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    I am glad I read this book, but I didn't love it. It's not really a contemplation of anger that provides new insight or analysis. It's sort of a hodgepodge of feminist critique--all of the micro and macro ways in which women are harassed, discriminated against, and devalued. If you're a woman who has been paying attention to these trends, you likely know all of this stuff. Still, it's a thorough and sad catalogue of sexism. There wasn't much to learn from. If you are already mad about the state I am glad I read this book, but I didn't love it. It's not really a contemplation of anger that provides new insight or analysis. It's sort of a hodgepodge of feminist critique--all of the micro and macro ways in which women are harassed, discriminated against, and devalued. If you're a woman who has been paying attention to these trends, you likely know all of this stuff. Still, it's a thorough and sad catalogue of sexism. There wasn't much to learn from. If you are already mad about the state of affairs, this book just confirms and validates your feelings. But what now? Also, I am not sure just expressing outrage is helpful. Perhaps men are given more latitude to do so, but it's also not effective when they do it. To just point out the double standard and say that women are not able to express anger is not enough in my opinion. Anger doesn't change things. If it pushes us to organize, then great. But we need to get beyond anger to make changes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Krystle

    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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Britta Böhler

    Well-researched exploration of gender unequality, focussing on present day USA.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrea McDowell

    I read Eloquent Rage, Rage Becomes Her, and Good and Mad sequentially over about a week, and I highly recommend doing so. They're very complementary. Rage Becomes Her is a sociological book with an incredible amount of research on everything that is making women angry and why that's not a problem; Good and Mad is a narrative journalistic account of the many times in history and the present day that women's anger has changed society for the better; Eloquent Rage is a memoir and account of feminis I read Eloquent Rage, Rage Becomes Her, and Good and Mad sequentially over about a week, and I highly recommend doing so. They're very complementary. Rage Becomes Her is a sociological book with an incredible amount of research on everything that is making women angry and why that's not a problem; Good and Mad is a narrative journalistic account of the many times in history and the present day that women's anger has changed society for the better; Eloquent Rage is a memoir and account of feminism and anger in the life of one black feminist. They nicely span the range between global to personal, make a sincere effort to be intersectional, and if these don't put a fire in your belly on women's issues it's very likely nothing ever will. Here's a quote from the end of Rage Becomes Her that encapsulates her book's arguments and really could be put on a motivational poster or a t-shirt (or a meme, if it were a little shorter): Anger is an assertion of rights and worth. It is communication, equality and knowledge. It is intimacy, acceptance, fearlessness, embodiment, revolt, and reconciliation. Anger is memory and rage. It is rational thought and irrational pain. Anger is freedom, independence, expansiveness, and entitlement. It is justice, passion, clarity, and motivation. Anger is instrumental, thoughtful, complicated, and resolved. In anger, whether you like it or not, there is truth. Anger is the demand of accountability. It is evaluation, judgement, and refutation. It is reflective, visionary and anticipatory. It's a speech act, a social statement, an intention, and a purpose. It's a risk and a threat. A confirmation and a wish. It is both powerlessness and power, palliative and a provocation. In anger, you will find both ferocity and comfort, vulnerability and hurt. Anger is the expression of hope. If you feel right now like you have a lot of rage, and don't know whether or not that's a good thing, and have no idea what to do with it all, these are three great books to read. I got to the end and felt about a million times better (though no less angry) and ready to make a lot of noise.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Terena Bell

    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 in the recycling and moved on.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Trista Hendren

    I have been following Soraya's writing for many years, so I expected this book to be amazing—but it surpassed my wildest expectations. Rage Becomes Her will make you cry—and make you angry—but it will also leave you hopeful and filled with the energy necessary to create change. Astoundingly Good!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Clarissa

    “There is not a woman alive who does not understand that women’s anger is openly reviled.” Honestly, Chemaly doesn’t state anything woman today aren’t at least vaguely familiar with. How many of us were told it is not good to express anger because it’s unbecoming of a lady? My friend's would describe me as sassy, which I chose to take as a compliment, and I'm sure some men I've come across would call me a 'fiesty Latina' trying to be flirty. (I think it goes without saying that those men did no “There is not a woman alive who does not understand that women’s anger is openly reviled.” Honestly, Chemaly doesn’t state anything woman today aren’t at least vaguely familiar with. How many of us were told it is not good to express anger because it’s unbecoming of a lady? My friend's would describe me as sassy, which I chose to take as a compliment, and I'm sure some men I've come across would call me a 'fiesty Latina' trying to be flirty. (I think it goes without saying that those men did not get my number). I was often told that getting angry was not good for my health and my short temper was often compared to that of my grandmother’s. While she’s not the nicest woman, I have always admired her ability to speak “sin pelos en la lengua”. In other words, without a filter. In a way, my mother was right: suppressing anger is not great for your health and I have a healthy 82 year grandmother who is still living it up to prove it. In Rage Becomes Her, Chemaly does a wonderful job exploring the sources of women’s anger (too many to list) and the effects of not being allowed to express it in the same way men can has on our psyche, body, relationships, and society as a whole. Here she encourages women of all ages to acknowledge their anger and learn to harness it in a constructive and healthy way.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Polacek

    This book is transformative. I am now constantly thinking about how I present myself and consider my emotional response. I have also been forced to do some reflection on what I consider my normal, quiet nature — how much of it is from my own innate personality, and how much is learned? There is a lot to think about here, and I am glad I get to discuss it with some strong women!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tonstant Weader

    Rage Becomes Her is at once the worst and best book to have started in the midst of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation. I was already enraged and this book has so much more to make me angry, but it also puts it into context. Of course, the best thing Soraya Chemaly does with Rage Becomes Her is encouraging us to see our anger as healthy. Chemaly begins by reclaiming anger. Women are supposed to be sad, not angry. We are not supposed to have the power of anger. Anger is a demand, sorrow is acceptanc Rage Becomes Her is at once the worst and best book to have started in the midst of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation. I was already enraged and this book has so much more to make me angry, but it also puts it into context. Of course, the best thing Soraya Chemaly does with Rage Becomes Her is encouraging us to see our anger as healthy. Chemaly begins by reclaiming anger. Women are supposed to be sad, not angry. We are not supposed to have the power of anger. Anger is a demand, sorrow is acceptance. Then she spends several chapters reminding us why we should be angry, from pay differentials, the women tax, sexual assault, health care inequities, and the flat-out misogyny that impinges so much on our lives. I would read a bit and then have to get up and chop onions VERY HARD or take a short walk just to walk off some of the anger so I could read some more. It’s not that I didn’t know a lot of this, but concentrating it is an intense experience. However, Chemaly does us the service of ending with a chapter on turning our anger into more than a fiery furnace so that it is instead, the optimistic demand for justice that righteous anger can be. It took me far longer than usual to read Rage Becomes Her. This is not because this is not a good book, it’s because it is so very intense. Seriously, if you could measure injustice per column-inch, this book is near the saturation point. In spite of bringing all the scholarly receipts, Rage Becomes Her is a very readable narrative. Chemaly brings herself and her family into the narrative, telling of seeing her mother’s evident, but unexpressed rage and finding herself falling into the trap of perpetuating the ‘good girl” socialization with her own daughter who was being bullied. This kind of honest self-reflection reifies many of the broader themes. This is not a happy book and it will make you angry, but you should read it anyway. We really need to see the bigger picture. We really do need our anger and we need to employ that anger to make the world less unfair and better for women, not just for us, but for the next generations. I received a copy of Rage Becomes Her from the publisher through NetGalley. Rage Becomes Her from Atria Books Soraya Chemaly at Women’s Media Center https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpre...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michaela

    ---- 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.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Esther Espeland

    a fitting start to 2019! Very timely read if you want a neat articulation of what the ladies are up against these days. More about disparities that should make women angry than anger itself. Was really impressed with how intersectional this was! Freaking finally! Race was always woven in, (book was written by a woman of color) and trans women, non binary ppl and other LGBTQ folks got their air time! Also lmao how I was sexually harassed on the train while reading the chapter on sexual harassment

  16. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    Full review soon! What a great book to finish as we enter 2019!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    I don’t know what to say about this book. It is so good. I wanted to start it again as soon as I finished it. Given how angry I am at the world these days, it feels so great to have someone else put your frustrations into words so succinctly and clearly.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rita Shaffer

    Important book! I am so glad that I read this - I will think differently about how I present myself. And constantly work to support the strong, smart women around me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cavak

    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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

    I won this book for free from Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Goodreads, Atria Books, and Soraya Chemaly. As always, an honest review from me. Rage Becomes Her might be my book of the year. It's incredibly powerful, poignant and validating for women. I want to share the book with every single woman I know. Actually I need every single person on the planet to read it. No arguments, just reading and learning. With that being said, here are all the reasons why Rage Becomes Her is a must read book I won this book for free from Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Goodreads, Atria Books, and Soraya Chemaly. As always, an honest review from me. Rage Becomes Her might be my book of the year. It's incredibly powerful, poignant and validating for women. I want to share the book with every single woman I know. Actually I need every single person on the planet to read it. No arguments, just reading and learning. With that being said, here are all the reasons why Rage Becomes Her is a must read book: - The author made me realize that I actually am very angry. Not annoyed, frustrated, sad, but angry. So many women have to put up with so much hatred, injustice and ridicule. And it's ridiculous. - I can relate to almost everything that she's writing. - I learned so much and so will you. - Highlights the value of women as caregivers and the lack of value society places on us. - Gives words to feelings and experiences that I've had before. Incredibly validating! -Books this powerful set my soul on fire -Teaches women how to make positive change using all that justifiable anger There is nothing negative that I can say about the book. Here are a few quotes that help to demonstrate the power of this novel: "Angry women burn brighter than the sun." "The unfairness that we intuit and experience but cannot "prove" as we are asked to do so often, are more likely to become internalized anger rather than externalized action." "How much is a little girl worth?" -Rachael Denhollander "Little girls don't stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world." -Kyle Stephens I literally had chills and tears while reading, from the power of the author's words. Please, if you only read one book that I recommend this year, made it this one.

  21. 4 out of 5

    teavious

    Your anger is a gift you give to yourself and the world that is yours. In anger, I have lived more fully, freely, intensely, sensitively, and politically. If ever there was a time not to silence yourself, to channel your anger into healthy places and choices, this is it. This was a beautiful, much needed insight into women's anger. The author asks: can you read a book about anger without becoming angry yourself? The answer is still no, especially when it's an anger that is directly connected to t Your anger is a gift you give to yourself and the world that is yours. In anger, I have lived more fully, freely, intensely, sensitively, and politically. If ever there was a time not to silence yourself, to channel your anger into healthy places and choices, this is it. This was a beautiful, much needed insight into women's anger. The author asks: can you read a book about anger without becoming angry yourself? The answer is still no, especially when it's an anger that is directly connected to the injustice that you've lived through ever since you were born. It was very eye-opening, liberating and healing to read all about these instances; and, selfishly, to understand that I am not alone in my suffering. It kills me to know that this entire humanity is built on the collective abuse of women everywhere. It is literally breaking my heart, to know that any silence that exists in history it does because of too much pain and too much stiffled anger. It gives me hope to know that, in the end, no silence lasts forever. Because, in the end, this book is hopeful. It bristles with anger, raw and valid, but so valuable because it inspires change. I think we need to stare straight into the 'eyes' of the injustice we've suffered and say, no you have no more power. no, i will do this instead with my anger. I can't say how much I needed this read. I'm so angry, and I've been so damn angry for such a long time over things I was never allowed to talk about. But hey, can you hear me now? Give me a bit more, and I'll try again, louder. I'll try to do better, for myself and for all the other women in my life. It's really empowering, to have a whole 400 pages long book dedicated to validating feelings you barely acknowledged as existing. A thank you maybe is not enough.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ang

    I feel like this was part of the triptych of anger books that came out this fall, and the one that I got the most out of. I actually highlighted portions of it, so I could share it with some coworkers, because it deals a lot with how we push down and silence our anger in various portions of our lives, and the work portions really spoke to me. I was also really interested to read the last chapter, where the author gives concrete ways to work with your anger, and let your anger breathe, and be a pa I feel like this was part of the triptych of anger books that came out this fall, and the one that I got the most out of. I actually highlighted portions of it, so I could share it with some coworkers, because it deals a lot with how we push down and silence our anger in various portions of our lives, and the work portions really spoke to me. I was also really interested to read the last chapter, where the author gives concrete ways to work with your anger, and let your anger breathe, and be a part of you. I felt that was a great addition to a book about how powerless and angry women can be, and how hard that is. There's something constructive that can come out of this. This was, though, fairly slow going, so prepare for a more difficult read if you decide to pick it up.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Foll

    I am enraged. There's nothing like growing more and more angry while reading a book on anger. And there is plenty of anger to around. Soraya Chemaly, in "Rage Becomes Her," convinced me to plunk down cold, hard cash after reading the first few pages. The first chapter sets the rest of the book in motion; Chemaly makes it clear that this is a book about women's anger -- why it exists and how women are taught to express it (or not express it). Chemaly also explores why women have so much to be ang I am enraged. There's nothing like growing more and more angry while reading a book on anger. And there is plenty of anger to around. Soraya Chemaly, in "Rage Becomes Her," convinced me to plunk down cold, hard cash after reading the first few pages. The first chapter sets the rest of the book in motion; Chemaly makes it clear that this is a book about women's anger -- why it exists and how women are taught to express it (or not express it). Chemaly also explores why women have so much to be angry about. I highly recommend this book for any woman who is wanting to get in touch with her own anger or who wants to learn to channel her anger (not suppress it) into creative, powerful actions.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea A

    This is a really great book on the subject matter of women's anger. That might sound redundant of me to say, obviously that's what it's supposed to be about, but nonfiction can be hit and miss. There have been times where I've been allured by a great title, only to be let down when the content didn't live up to my lofty expectations. Men Explain Things To Me, for example. I feared the deception of a good title and cover. Let me just say, Soraya Chemaly composed a book that is both clearly expres This is a really great book on the subject matter of women's anger. That might sound redundant of me to say, obviously that's what it's supposed to be about, but nonfiction can be hit and miss. There have been times where I've been allured by a great title, only to be let down when the content didn't live up to my lofty expectations. Men Explain Things To Me, for example. I feared the deception of a good title and cover. Let me just say, Soraya Chemaly composed a book that is both clearly expressed and thorough. She makes sure to include all women (something not all feminist books do) seeing as the expression of anger is perceived (stereotyped) differently in different women (angry black women, spicy/hot-headed Hispanics, passive Asians, etc.) As a white woman, I don't know what it's like feeling like I have to bite back my anger because I fear it's going to perpetuate a stereotype society has placed on me. I imagine it would only make me angrier. As women in general, though, I think we can all relate to biting back our anger for one reason or another. Because we don't want to be called hysterical, because we don't want to accidentally incite worse anger in a man we're fighting with, or simply because we don't want to get that doofy, condescending smile/smirk from the other gender that says "aww, how cute, she's getting riled up again, that sassy little thing." This book is just SO relatable in the way it brings to the table and breaks down things we, collectively as a gender, experience daily. "SMILE!" Literally, that has become one of my least favorite words/phrases in the history of words/phrases. This chapter definitely roused rage in me. I have been told to smile my entire life. People would yell it at me from the rail while showing horses, yell at it me while I'm trying to pay for my groceries, walk down the street, pump gas, run to my car in the pouring rain, read a book...inevitably, there is always a man standing in the wings waiting to say "smile" to me. I surmised a long time ago that I have "resting bitch face." My face, while resting, is not in a smile (whose is?). I smile when something provokes me to smile. I'm not just going to walk around smiling for shits and giggles. Just last week the manager of the local gas station told me to smile. I've been seeing this man on a bi-weekly basis for eons, and never once, not even for a split second, have I ever seen HIM smile. The chapter where she describes a college class full of women admitting their greatest fears is particularity poignant. All of them one-upped each other by imaginatively describing a more chilling degree of rape than the last. It sad that this is a fear always in the back (often times forefront) of most, if not all, women's mind. How many adult men do you think worry about rape every day and are eternally grateful when another day goes by that they haven't been? There were many parts I nodded my head in unison to, and other parts where I was floored by what Chemaly told me. The health risks of suppressing anger, for one. Also, she dropped this little term on me I'd never heard before. A "husband stitch." I would have to backhand somebody. Moving on from that, she goes in depth on the million different ways our anger gets judged in direct correlation to us as reproducers. Whether you are a mother, want to be a mother but are struggling to conceive, are a woman who never wants to be a mother, are someone who chose to terminate a pregnancy, are someone who miscarried, someone who became a mother through a traumatizing pregnancy/labor/delivery, became a mother and suffered postpartum, or are just a woman trying to make it through life where an unnecessary amount of judgement is contingent upon that one facet of femininity...you can find concurrence in her words. As far as all of these decisions go, men (historically, fundamentally, ignorantly) like to think they know us better than we know ourselves. I've encountered an uncountable number of people (both men & women) who do not believe me when I say I won't have kids. It's infuriating...as are many things about being a woman. I have a temper---not necessarily a quick one, but a temper nonetheless---and I openly vent my anger often. I'm grateful that I've gotten to the point where I rarely hold it in. I realize not everyone feels so comfortable. I realize that some cannot safely express themselves the way I do. Sometimes I think I get the angriest watching women I care about stifle themselves while they get ran dry by men who won't lift a finger to help them with the load they carry, or attempt to understand them in the least. Sometimes I have to remind myself before I tell them to rage that they are not me, and I am not in their situation. I hope one day these men get it, but I'm inclined to believe that they won't. This book came at a an opportune time for me, because as of recently I've given a lot of rage-filled thought as to why men (especially of the white & straight variety) seem to think they've got it so bad? Why are they so angry? And why, in their minds, is THEIR rage always justifiable, and other people's rage is thuggish, mob-like, snowflake-y, crybaby-ish, or hormonal hysterics? I think women have way, way, waaayyy more reason to be enraged, stressed out, and pissed off. Especially women of color. Especially women who have been/are being marginalized. And to be completely honest, I've not met a woman in my life who is more emotional than some of the men I know. Or fragile, for that matter. That's just the truth. Hats off to Soraya Chemaly for writing such a strong, engaging, pertinent book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ericka Clouther

    Lots of salient and interesting essays about feminism. I had a lot of favorite quotes. This, for example, describes my high school (class of 1997) experience pretty well: "In the classroom, it was almost certainly the case that the women were managing a double bind that we face constantly: conform to traditional gender expectations, stay quiet and be liked, or violate those expectations and risk the penalties, including the penalty of being called puritanical, aggressive, and 'humorless.'" Thoug Lots of salient and interesting essays about feminism. I had a lot of favorite quotes. This, for example, describes my high school (class of 1997) experience pretty well: "In the classroom, it was almost certainly the case that the women were managing a double bind that we face constantly: conform to traditional gender expectations, stay quiet and be liked, or violate those expectations and risk the penalties, including the penalty of being called puritanical, aggressive, and 'humorless.'" Though I think there were many more and worse names we were called. "Puritanical" would have been a relief by comparison. And this describes my internal fears almost everytime I go for a walk by myself: "Men learn to regard rape as a moment in time; a discreet episode with a beginning, middle, and end. But for women, rape is thousands of moments that we fold into ourselves over a lifetime. Its' the day that you realize you can't walk to a friend's house anymore or the time when your aunt tells you to be nice because the boy was just 'stealing a kiss.' It's the evening you stop going to the corner store because, the night before, a stranger followed you home. [...]. It's the time it takes you to write an email explaining that you're changing your major, even though you don't really want to, in order to avoid a particular professor. It's when you're racing to catch a bus, hear a person demand a blow job, [...]. It's the second your teacher tells you to cover your shoulders because you'll 'distract the boys, and what will your male teachers do?' It's the minute you decide not to travel to a place you've always dreamed about visiting and are accused of being 'unadventurous.' It's the sting of knowing that exactly as the world starts expanding for most boys, it begins to shrink for you. All of this goes on all day, every day, without anyone really uttering the word rape in a way that grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles, teachers, and friends will hear it, let alone seriously reflect on what it means." There is certainly a lot more that can be said on the topic of anger in particular though. One thing that I thought was missing from these discussions is that shutting down anger is a political tactic that extends beyond sexism. Even male Democrats are told not to be angry, and "just accept" the results of multiple stolen elections, gerrymandered districts, Democratic governors stripped of power, etc. "A society that does not respect women's anger is one that does not respect women; not as human beings, thinkers, knowers, active participants, or citizens." Perhaps the problem is that increasingly there is less respect for the concept of democracy or human rights in general.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Bookish

    “In my experience, it is difficult for many adults to accept that boys can and should control themselves and meet the same behavioral standards that we expect from girls. It’s even harder to accept that girls feel angry and have legitimate rights not to make themselves cheerfully available as resources for boys’ development.” Rage Becomes Her is a timely and extensive exploration of women’s anger. Chemaly discusses varying aspects of this topic, from the differences in the expectations we set for “In my experience, it is difficult for many adults to accept that boys can and should control themselves and meet the same behavioral standards that we expect from girls. It’s even harder to accept that girls feel angry and have legitimate rights not to make themselves cheerfully available as resources for boys’ development.” Rage Becomes Her is a timely and extensive exploration of women’s anger. Chemaly discusses varying aspects of this topic, from the differences in the expectations we set for male and female children, to the ways race intersects with gender to set our expectations. (For example, angry black girl stereotypes vs. the image of Asian women as inherently submissive.) There is a clear effort to make the topic intersectional and to show respect for the varying backgrounds and experiences of women. While Chemaly is definitely making arguments and sharing her own opinions throughout the essays, the book is also brimming with facts. It’s evident that the work was very well researched and the author frequently cites studies to support her points. Chemaly doesn’t make the argument that the sexism imbued in our society never harms men, but she does make an interesting point about her personal experiences from speaking to students in high schools throughout her career. When she asks students to give examples of sexism against their own gender, the girls, as a general rule, speak from personal experience. They talk about things that happen to them or things they have personally witnessed. The boys tend to speak in hypotheticals and generalizations: disparities in family court, or the expectation that a man be the provider in a relationship. It’s very commonplace for feminists to talk about ways that the patriarchy ends up inadvertently hurting men, but Chemaly seems to worry that this tendency is an indication of missing the point; men have set the rules that now hurt men. Then the men who are hurt… blame feminists. This review feels painfully brief, but I find it difficult to express my feelings about this book. If you are a woman, you will probably find the contents extremely validating and sometimes enraging. If you are a man, I hope you will find it eye-opening. It’s something that is at times difficult to read, but I think it’s important. You can read all of my reviews at my blog, Jenna Bookish! Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christianne

    If you're a woman who has lived enough decades and are well-read then nothing in this book will surprise you. It is packed with every hurtful, discriminatory, and abusive thing women experience every day all over the planet and throughout history. And while it won't surprise you, it can be infuriating to have all that presented in one well-researched, tightly written package. Don't read it before bed. I do think this would be a good book for young women. And for my part I gained a better apprecia If you're a woman who has lived enough decades and are well-read then nothing in this book will surprise you. It is packed with every hurtful, discriminatory, and abusive thing women experience every day all over the planet and throughout history. And while it won't surprise you, it can be infuriating to have all that presented in one well-researched, tightly written package. Don't read it before bed. I do think this would be a good book for young women. And for my part I gained a better appreciation for the positive aspects of feeling and embracing anger and using it as a creative force for good. To paraphrase Alicia Garza: anger as a catalyst plus love as sustenance equals force for change. I previously only thought of anger as a destructive emotion but now I realize I feel it all the time and have been using it to guide my life. Rage, if out of control, is harmful, but expressing anger should not be taboo for women and can be "an astoundingly clarifying emotion."

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amber Spencer

    Wow. I really got into this book. I don’t agree with everything she says, but I feel like I get what she was saying. I’d, perhaps, use different terminology, but she’s right in saying that women need to stand up for themselves and other women. I haven’t been in many of these situations, but I’m grateful for the friendships I have with women who have, who open my eyes to things happening all around me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I read this over a month and a half -- it's frustrating subject matter, and I'd already read GOOD AND MAD and ELOQUENT RAGE in the past four months. But Chemaly's book is an excellent primer on the many issues that women all over the world are angry about. I especially loved her chapter on motherhood.

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