A conversation-shifting book urging 21st-century women to understand their anger, embrace its power, and use it as a tool for positive change
'How many women cry when angry because we've held it in for so long? How many discover that anger turned inward is depression? Soraya Chemaly's Rage Becomes Her will be good for women. After all, women have a lot to be angry about.' GLORIA STEINEM
Women are angry, and it isn't hard to figure out why. We are underpaid, overworked, thwarted and diminished. The assertive among us are labelled bitches, while the expressive among us are considered shrill. We are told to stand down when we have an opinion and to calm down when we are fired up. And when we somehow manage to put one high heel-battered foot in front of the other despite all of this, we're asked if it would kill us to smile.
We are mad as hell, and that's completely okay. Because contrary to the endless barrage of self-help rhetoric about anger management and letting go, the reality is that our rage is the most important resource we have as women, a force for creation rather than destruction, our sharpest tool against both personal and political oppression. Anger is not what gets in our way, it is our way. All we need to do is own it.
This is a pitch perfect, engaging, and accessible credo written by one of today’s most influential feminists. Analysing female anger as it relates to topics like self-worth, objectification, pain, care, fear, silence, and denial, Soraya illuminates how and why we repress our anger, revealing the harm that this causes, and helping us recognise the liberating power of owning our anger and marshalling it as a vital tool for positive change.
Just as Quiet brought about a new embrace of introversion, Rage Becomes Her will bring about an embrace of feminine anger that will leave women feeling liberated, inspired and connected to an entire universe of women who are no longer interested in making nice.
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.
'How many women cry when angry because we've held it in for so long? How many discover that anger turned inward is depression? Soraya Chemaly's Rage Becomes Her will be good for women. After all, women have a lot to be angry about.'
– Gloria Steinem
'In this powerful essay collection, Chemaly draws on interviews, research, and personal experience to examine why patriarchal Western cultures continue to demand that women silence their rage… Intelligent and keenly observed, this is a bracingly liberating call for the right of women to own their anger and use it to benefit a society "at risk for authoritarianism." Important, timely, necessary reading.'
– Kirkus (starred review)
'[A] thoughtful, in-depth exploration of female rage... An essential and timely read... Invaluable and eye-opening.'
– Booklist (starred review)
'Rage is a battle-cry of a book, drawing on all corners of contemporary life, from media to education and medicine. She takes the reader through a woman’s life, from infancy to adulthood, highlighting the systemic ways female rage is suppressed, diverted or minimalised. And she provides scientific evidence to back up her ideas. If life as a modern woman is maddening, then Rage is a sanity-restorer.'
– The Guardian
'This explosive, vital and unapologetic book lifts the lid on a hugely important but little-discussed aspect of gender inequality. With skill, wit and sharp insight, Chemaly peels back layers of cultural norms and repression to lay bare the reality of women's rage. She joins the dots to trace the connections between misogyny, violence and the repression of female anger. She weaves a path that takes us from pornography to the playground, media to medicine. This book should make you furious. It is a battle cry for women's right to rage: teaching us that we have every right to be angry, and demanding that the world pays attention to that anger.'
– Laura Bates, author of Girl Up and Everyday Sexism
'If you think Senator Warren persisted, meet Soraya Chemaly and her latest book, Rage Becomes Her… Men should read the book and the women in their lives must insist that they do so… Chemaly’s book is giving voice to how women’s voices have been suppressed. This book needs to be read.'
– New York Journal of Books
'At this moment in history, when women's anger is at boiling point, this text could not be more timely. Or, more needed.'
'In this breathtakingly (or maybe I should say breathgivingly…because it will literally make you feel like you can breathe again) liberating book, Soraya Chemaly breaks down the myriad ways that women are silenced, ignored, disrespected, dehumanized, and generally spat upon by the patriarchy… It’s one of the best feminist books I’ve ever read and the first I will recommend the next time someone asks me why I’m a feminist.'
'Provocative... In Rage Becomes Her, Chemelay uses scientific research, in-depth interviews, and personal experiences to investigate why cultures around the world expect and even force women to keep their anger silent and their rage hidden. But more than that, she makes a case for why that pattern finally needs to be broken.'
'Chemaly’s collection of essays, shaped by research and personal experience... shows us how anger is truly one of our most potent resources for changing the world.'
'[A] provocative analysis… Calling for a "wise anger" that can dismantle pervasive sexism and create a fundamentally democratic society, the book makes a persuasive case that angry women can achieve, not vengeance, but change.'
– Publishers Weekly
'An unmissable book that helps to explain how the personal has become deeply political’
– Emerald Street
'Packed full of reasons why women might be so angry... She believes it’s a force for good and for change and she offers strategies of how to achieve this...If we don’t allow ourselves to be angry – to explore that anger to its full potential, to admit those crimes that made us angry – we are standing in the way of our own progress and that of others.'
– The Pool
'Relentless and revelatory… Chemaly deftly balances these statistics with grim stories to illustrate them, so that the cumulative effect of reading her book is not merely to legitimize women’s anger but to render it astonishing that we are not even angrier.'
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