After touching on a woman’s anger in the book “Fates and Furies,” I thought long and hard about my own PDAs (public displays of anger). Remember I went to Catholic school, where any display of emotion was well squelched out of us. The nuns wanted us to walk humbly before God, in our little plaid uniforms. Good advice, except all the boys didn’t seem to care what the nuns wanted.
In the 1970s women’s liberation caught up with me. I had found my voice, and like most newbies it needed refining. I couldn’t wait for some unsuspecting vacuum cleaner salesman to ring my door bell so I could practice saying, “NO!” After all, Meghan Trainor wasn’t even born yet; can you tell I love her new song. NO?
My name is NO my sign is NO my number is NO
When did we lose that stubborn two year old temper? This morning it seemed like fate (Ha) when my Lenny email arrived – “Women Have Anger” by Casey Wilson.
I’ve realized that anger doesn’t seem to be as palatable on a woman as it is on a man. And I’m angry about that. I’m angry at women who can’t access their anger, or who cover it by masquerading as little sweeties, or those who display it and are off-putting. Which are all versions of myself I have spent my life trying to wrangle and negotiate.
Even as I acknowledged that there’s a degree of sexism in the way the world treats an angry woman, as I got older, I started realizing my outbursts were causing real problems. For starters, I lost a lot of phones. Whenever I would feel a flash of white-hot rage overtake me, my first impulse was always the same. To throw my phone. My phone! My very lifeblood! No available slab of drywall was safe.
I never threw my phone, I was more about throwing a well-placed F bomb at someone. But speaking of drywall, I currently have between three and six guys running around my house finishing the basement and fixing drywall tears, and spackling and hammering and vacuuming. The noise is enough to make you weep. That is, when I’m not all super angry bird about the four gun violence bills that were (excuse the pun) shot down in the Senate yesterday. I am pretty hot under my collar at the moment. The good thing is we may have reached a tipping point, so strike while the iron is hot ladies. How could the Senate decide terrorists deserve to have their guns, while they don’t allow any guns or knitting needles on the floor of their esteemed body? Nope, not even if you have a concealed carry license…or an unfinished sweater sleeve.
Call. Text. Write. Walk on Washington. Do anything to get your legislators’ attention. Get angry people.This is righteous anger. Nobody needs an assault weapon to hunt, everybody wants to expand background checks so terrorists and maniacs can’t get their hands on a gun. The American people are mad as hell, and come November I would be very surprised to see those GOP members who voted against sanity yesterday return to the Hill.
This afternoon, two women Senators got together to put forward a bipartisan proposal to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists. They held a news conference and they had a tag line – “No Fly? No Buy.” Our very own VA Senator, Democrat Tim Kaine was a part of the new bill and may be considered as a running mate for Hillary. Will they be able to reach a compromise before November? Or is this system as broken as I think it is?
Remind me to tell you the story of my knitting needles in Heathrow Airpot. Maybe I should keep a pair of needles in my glove compartment, after all, we ladies don’t wear gloves anymore. It’s time for a new generation to come out and vote, to just say NO and take up the gauntlet, to repair democracy. The days are getting shorter.