Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger

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***A BEST BOOK OF 2018 SELECTION***
NPR * The Washington Post * Book Riot * Autostraddle * Psychology Today

***A BEST FEMINIST BOOK SELECTION***
Refinery 29, Book Riot, Autostraddle, BITCH

Rage Becomes Her is an “utterly eye opening” (Bustle) book that gives voice to the causes, expressions, and possibilities of female rage.

As women, we’ve been urged for so long to bottle up our anger, letting it corrode our bodies and minds in ways we don’t even realize. Yet there are so, so many legitimate reasons for us to feel angry, ranging from blatant, horrifying acts of misogyny to the subtle drip, drip drip of daily sexism that reinforces the absurdly damaging gender norms of our society.

In Rage Becomes Her, Soraya Chemaly argues that our anger is not only justified, it is also an active part of the solution. We are so often encouraged to resist our rage or punished for justifiably expressing it, yet how many remarkable achievements would never have gotten off the ground without the kernel of anger that fueled them? Approached with conscious intention, anger is a vital instrument, a 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—one we can no longer abide.

“A work of great spirit and verve” (Time), Rage Becomes Her is a validating, energizing read that will change the way you interact with the world around you.
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About the author

Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning writer and activist whose work focuses on the role of gender in culture, politics, religion, and media. She is the Director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and an advocate for women’s freedom of expression and expanded civic and political engagement. A prolific writer and speaker, her articles appear in Time, the Verge, The Guardian, The Nation, HuffPost, and The Atlantic. Follow her on Twitter at @SChemaly and learn more at SorayaChemaly.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Sep 11, 2018
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781501189579
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Emotions
Social Science / Popular Culture
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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For some time, reality TV, talk shows, soap-operas, and sitcoms have turned their spotlights on women and girls who thrive on competition and nastiness. Few fairytales lack the evil stepmother, wicked witch, or jealous sister. Even cartoons feature mean and sassy girls who only become sweet and innocent when adults appear. And recently, popular books and magazines have turned their gaze away from ways of positively influencing girls' independence and self-esteem and towards the topic of girls' meanness to other girls. What does this say about the way our culture views girlhood? How much do these portrayals affect the way girls view themselves?

In Girlfighting, psychologist and educator Lyn Mikel Brown scrutinizes the way our culture nurtures and reinforces this sort of meanness in girls. She argues that the old adage “girls will be girls”—gossipy, competitive, cliquish, backstabbing— and the idea that fighting is part of a developmental stage or a rite-of-passage, are not acceptable explanations. Instead, she asserts, girls are discouraged from expressing strong feelings and are pressured to fulfill unrealistic expectations, to be popular, and struggle to find their way in a society that still reinforces gender stereotypes and places greater value on boys. Under such pressure, in their frustration and anger, girls (often unconsciously) find it less risky to take out their fears and anxieties on other girls instead of challenging the ways boys treat them, the way the media represents them, or the way the culture at large supports sexist practices.

Girlfighting traces the changes in girls' thoughts, actions and feelings from childhood into young adulthood, providing the developmental understanding and theoretical explanation often lacking in other conversations. Through interviews with over 400 girls of diverse racial, economic, and geographic backgrounds, Brown chronicles the labyrinthine journey girls take from direct and outspoken children who like and trust other girls, to distrusting and competitive young women. She argues that this familiar pathway can and should be interrupted and provides ways to move beyond girlfighting to build girl allies and to support coalitions among girls.

By allowing the voices of girls to be heard, Brown demonstrates the complex and often contradictory realities girls face, helping us to better understand and critique the socializing forces in their lives and challenging us to rethink the messages we send them.

Over the past four decades - and most especially in recent years as issues of identity continue to play out across the public stage - identity theory has developed into one of the most fascinating and active research programs within the spheres of sociological social psychology. Having emerged out of a landmark 2014 national conference that sought to integrate various research programs and to honor the groundbreaking work of Dr. Peter J. Burke, New Directions in Identity Theory and Research brings together the pioneers, scholars, and researchers of identity theory as they present the important theoretical, methodological, and substantive work in identity theory today. Edited by Dr. Jan E. Stets and Dr. Richard T. Serpe, this volume asserts that researchers and scholars can no longer rely on using samples, measures, concepts, and mechanisms that limit the overall advancement of identity theory and research. Instead, as Stets and Serpe contend in their introductory chapter, "Researchers constantly must try out new ideas, test the ideas with more refined measures, use samples that are representative yet racially and ethnically diverse, and employ methods (perhaps mixed methods) that capture the different dimensions of the identity process." This book is the truest testament to this idea. In New Directions in Identity Theory and Research, Stets, Serpe, and contributing authors urge readers to think outside the box by providing the road map necessary to guide future work and thought in this emerging field.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write the ending.

Don’t miss the hourlong Netflix special Brené Brown: The Call to Courage!

Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.

It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to discomfort.

Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.

ONE OF GREATER GOOD’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

“[Brené Brown’s] research and work have given us a new vocabulary, a way to talk with each other about the ideas and feelings and fears we’ve all had but haven’t quite known how to articulate. . . . Brené empowers us each to be a little more courageous.”—The Huffington Post
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