“Women’s anger is not taken seriously as politically consequential and valid, in part because women are sucked back into a maternal or wifely aesthetic framework,” Rebecca Traister said in a recent interview with The Masthead, The Atlantic’s membership program. “We need to understand their fury as politically and socially catalytic.”
In November, as part of The Masthead Book Club, members read Traister’s Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger. Members discussed the book on The Masthead forums with Atlantic staff, and submitted questions for Traister via video. Watch the conversation, and read on for an excerpt:
Is female anger really always taken less seriously? While reading the book, a a member reminded me of the phrase, “When mama’s unhappy, everyone’s unhappy.” It seemed to her that, especially when women invoke their roles as wives and mothers when angry, their anger is extremely effective. — Caroline Kitchener
Rebecca Traister: That is historically the context in which women have been offered what power is on the table. Their power is within a domestic sphere, within familial relationships. But if the only way we can invoke our authority is by making a comparison to a domestic and maternal sphere, that’s a very limited scope. Part of what this book is about is the fact that women’s anger is not taken seriously as politically consequential and valid, in part because women are sucked back into a maternal or wifely aesthetic framework. And we need to understand their fury as politically and socially catalytic.
Are movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp making a difference? — Barbara Didrichsen, Masthead member
Traister: Sure, they are making a difference insofar as there’s actually a difference in how consequences are being meted out. For years, even for very specific men about whom allegations have been made, those allegations were out in public for years and years and years. Nobody did anything about it.
I reported on sexual-harassment allegations against Bill O’Reilly when I was a young reporter in 2004. He remained the top anchor of Fox News, a network that was so powerful, it propelled presidents into office. So am I shocked by what has happened in the past year, that some of those very specific men lost their perches? Yes. But we should also remember that they didn’t lose their power.
It’s important to note that the No. 1 book on the best-seller list is written by Bill O’Reilly. …read more
Source:: The Atlantic – Culture