Anger is a powerful emotion. It warns us of threat, insult, indignity and harm but across the world, girls and women are taught that their anger is better left unvoiced. Why is that, and what might we lose in this silence? This TED talk by author Soraya Chemaly explores the dangerous lie that anger isn't feminine, showing how women's rage is justified, healthy and a potential catalyst for change.
I can very much identify with the feeling of white hot rage mentioned in the TED talk I've posted below, and the way I've been culturally conditioned to 'keep a lid on it' to 'keep the peace'. For whom am I keeping the peace, because it's certainly not for myself? I've experienced how detrimental suppressing my anger is to my self-belief and confidence, to my health, to my happiness, and since having a baby, to my capacity as a mother.
It feels like I've been on a very long journey to not accepting shame for exploding when the pressure under the lid becomes too much, and to consciously removing the lid and expressing my anger without having to make it palatable. (Ask me about my trips to the forest with a cricket bat...)
My journey has been one of:
1) Recognising when something isn't ok for me because I can feel it. 2) Trusting my feelings, particularly in the face of another's denial of my reasons for feeling as I do. 3) Being able to say NO. 4) Standing behind my no when there's a backlash. 5) Letting wise women see me in my rawness while leaning on them for support.
My journey has been one of gradually reclaiming my integrity, my voice and my power. I'm still on it, and I want to share it with other women. We've been taught to compete with one another, to present a perfect image and ultimately to mistrust and distance ourselves from one another. Every experience I've had however of women of all ages authentically coming together to hear, support and empower one another has shown me that our stories are often the same.
We want to give ourselves and other women the space to safely voice our rage so we can discover our power and make truly authentic, supportive friendships. Would anyone be interested in coming to a women's circle that facilitates this? We can hold them in person in Herefordshire and online via Zoom for anyone who lives further afield. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to come.