Library Journal Review
Award-winning feminist thinker and activist Chemaly's thought-provoking book, based on personal interviews and sociology research, exposes cultural perceptions and stereotypes of the melodramatic, angry woman. Chemaly argues that women are socialized from a young age to "be likeable" and to repress their anger. Because anger, aggression, and assertiveness are linked as one behavior in women and young girls, repression has deleterious consequences on their lives in a wide range of areas. The author documents in great detail what causes women to experience anger-male violence, structural discrimination, daily slights and marginalization, threats to abortion rights, and the overwhelming responsibilities of mothering and caregiving. Such analysis offers a timely, politically charged account of what it means to be an American woman today. The author recaps the development of the Me Too movement, and also explains how the Trump presidency has exacerbated women's anger and propelled women to new levels of activism. VERDICT Rejecting any call for "anger management," Chemaly concludes by recommending ten ways women can develop what she calls "anger competence," so as to harness anger as a tool for change. For feminists, sociologists, and politically involved readers.-Marie M. Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., NJ © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
In this provocative analysis, journalist and activist Chemaly describes the many reasons women have to be angry. Though early instruction in gender conventions inures girls to objectification and teaches them to swallow their anger, Chemaly writes, the list of things "stressing us out and making us angry, sick, and tired" include the gender wage gap, the risks of pregnancy and "the immense social expectations of motherhood," pervasive sexual harassment and assault, and the normalization of pain and discomfort. Add to these the daily, constant stream of microaggressions like being interrupted, talked over, or perceived as less believable than men and the "fundamental bias" that they "are inherently less worth listening to." Chemaly offers statistics, studies, and convincing stories to justify this rage, but where phenomena like the #MeToo movement and the women's marches offer examples of turning collective anger into action, she dwells on the denial and backlash that occur when women try to identify or confront the "dense matrix of violence and discrimination" embedded in culture. She encourages women to cultivate "anger competence," or owning one's anger, with advice to develop self-awareness and finding a supportive community. 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. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.