Anger and gender

Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro

Being born into the Baby Boomer Tribe, I was socially, culturally and disciplined accordingly concerning how ‘nice ladies’ expressed theirselves. Anger expressed within my geographical and economical level or area was simply taboo and the village concept reinforced their status quo.

That was over 60 years ago. However, this core imprinted theme is sometimes still prevalent among others’ expectations of how I should feel. Not even the issue of choosing correct behavior of acting on it : simply others‘ stating it is not OK for my body to show the chemical reaction or my voice to be tense. To which I addressed the following day, “I will not apologize for reacting normally to an abnormal situation.“ It is OK for women (or anyone) and those of PTSD to feel anger- it is how we choose to act on it that counts.

Yes, I may feel anger more intensely in the moment, but anger is just another emotion not my mantle. I found acceptance within myself to feel full spectrum, to live not being afraid that my anger was ‘bad’ or dangerous but a healthy indicator that something might change. Feelings are not facts but they are ours, truly ours alone. So I wanted to take a moment to offer an article for women and anger... so that maybe stuffing our anger (and becoming depressed) or being afraid to have a feeling (for we might loose control or be not nice) stays where it belongs- in the past.
 
I agree with the author and I was raised the same way as she was and you @Recovery4Me. But it's not new and I'm certain my parents and many generations of women before were all raised the same way. I think the contrast between the genteel lady-like behaviour we had belted into us stands starkly against the maltreatment and misery that we are expected to endure with silence.

If we are never taught how to deal with anger then it becomes a menace to ourselves and others and yet over the generations it has stuck.

I really don't think boys and men are taught how to deal with anger either evidenced by the ever growing stats for domestic violence and incarceration rates. Is that because a huge amount of boys are raised by women who have not themselves been taught that anger is a real and important emotion on the spectrum human emotions?
 
I agree, our society doesn't want women to show anger. It's a big problem, and it's completely unfair to women.

However, our society doesn't really want men to show any emotion OTHER than anger, either. Also a big problem, and it's unfair to men and to the people who have to live and put up with men, too.

I think everyone should be able to feel however they feel and show what they're feeling. But it's unfortunately just not that simple. We all have a tendency to feel the ways society wants us to, and it's not always very easy to break that yoke.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro

Being born into the Baby Boomer Tribe, I was socially, culturally and disciplined accordingly concerning how ‘nice ladies’ expressed theirselves. Anger expressed within my geographical and economical level or area was simply taboo and the village concept reinforced their status quo.

That was over 60 years ago. However, this core imprinted theme is sometimes still prevalent among others’ expectations of how I should feel. Not even the issue of choosing correct behavior of acting on it : simply others‘ stating it is not OK for my body to show the chemical reaction or my voice to be tense. To which I addressed the following day, “I will not apologize for reacting normally to an abnormal situation.“ It is OK for women (or anyone) and those of PTSD to feel anger- it is how we choose to act on it that counts.

Yes, I may feel anger more intensely in the moment, but anger is just another emotion not my mantle. I found acceptance within myself to feel full spectrum, to live not being afraid that my anger was ‘bad’ or dangerous but a healthy indicator that something might change. Feelings are not facts but they are ours, truly ours alone. So I wanted to take a moment to offer an article for women and anger... so that maybe stuffing our anger (and becoming depressed) or being afraid to have a feeling (for we might loose control or be not nice) stays where it belongs- in the past.
I'm in my 60's. I feel there are privileges to aging.....dumping the crap we were taught (to be young ladies, watching our "tone" and not expressing feelings).....for being able to be real and express feelings in an appropriate manner with respect to a given situation. We are in the last quarter of the game.....our time is limited so......we have earned the right to be outspoken, angry, and blunt when need be......and if someone doesn't like it.....too bad if they can't deal with it. My mother called saying one's feelings in childhood..... impudence...... but I taught my daughter at a young age "I messages".....and I can remember my daughter telling my mother that "I feel hurt when you .do.....xyz" and my mother looked horrified. I later got a talking to about my daughter's impudence....and a lecture about appropriate parenting. The truth is.....other people's feelings are awkward to deal with for people who don't value their own feelings. They were taught the same rhetoric.....good girls don't act that way.......but it is still a choice....one can either go with their integrity and be true to themselves....or pretend and be irritated.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
It is true for new generations too. Perhaps women get to get angry more easily but men are still expected to be raging and controlling, transforming sadness and fear into anger as not to show any vulnerability. Invulnerability for women still is that Saint posture of enduring whatever happens. And yes when I get angry I feel like I'm losing control instead of regaining it. However I could see that the outcomes of my anger were better than the ones of my compliance.

I'd say that the zeitgeist of my generation is that anger, insecurity and jealousy are emotions for the past and that we're atomic elements capable of steering through the complexities of relationships without much regard of what we might produce in that process. Hurting and getting hurt without explanations, and guilting ourselves for having shown vulnerability, and also being ghosted.

There are some spots of awareness of mental health or just normal responses to things, but most people still do work in repressive ideations I find. I guess it's necessary up to a certain point as breaking pots or hitting people never solved any problems, but the complete repression of anger deletes the introception about the root of a problem, just as acting out gives temporary release and postpones the problem until it hits the right target in the right way.

Also in women I noticed that anger and self harm are often sublimated in overdoing self care like skincare, plucking hair, epilation and loathing one's own body. All these cosmetic actions are painful, and almost the totality of us have engaged in it at least once. It is tricky to draw the line but I've observed a certain franticness about prepping oneself up as a distraction from anger.
 
Also in women I noticed that anger and self harm are often sublimated in overdoing self care like skincare, plucking hair, epilation and loathing one's own body. All these cosmetic actions are painful, and almost the totality of us have engaged in it at least once. It is tricky to draw the line but I've observed a certain franticness about prepping oneself up as a distraction from anger.

^Is it anger or a desire to belong, to be accepted, to conform and derives from a place of maybe loneliness? As for loathing one's body isn't that about feelings of insecurity, unlovable and inability to find peace?
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
^Is it anger or a desire to belong, to be accepted, to conform and derives from a place of maybe loneliness? As for loathing one's body isn't that about feelings of insecurity, unlovable and inability to find peace?
Yes, they are too. But I think just as sadness or fear tends to be sublimated in anger for men, anger tends to be sublimated in compliance and desire to fit in for women, as it gives security and control. Also self soothing. And as an unfortunate practicioner of self harm, I know that its first aim is self soothing. Hoping that after it will feel better. It sort of does, in a twisted way. I might be very idiosyncratic with this, but I think there is a continuum between self soothing / care and self harm. Real care obviously being exclusive of self harm.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
^Is it anger or a desire to belong, to be accepted, to conform and derives from a place of maybe loneliness? As for loathing one's body isn't that about feelings of insecurity, unlovable and inability to find peace?
I think that just comes from a primal survival drive; to be attractive to men has equated to survival for women, and genetic perpetuation success, since time immemorial.



It doesn't help to rally against it, IMO, just to call out the reality of the situation. It helps more, to understand the primal underpinnings that motivate behaviour for both women and men of typical reproductive and survival drives.

The rest is attributable to modern advertising and cultural mores that exploit our inbuilt and/or conditioned insecurites.
Insecurities certainly aren't the prerogative of females.

Men have plenty of their own " sexual displaying" type behaviours, but they often manifest as showing status via wealth displays etc if they haven't the physical prowess to display, or both if they are particularly fortunate .

It's not about body loathing, that's more a trauma or abuse symptom, its more about having an edge on the competition for mates, as fits whatever cultural and competitive context one finds oneself in.

Anger comes from fear and hopefully matures to develop into assertiveness and healthy boundary building when courage and knowledge are added to it.


Anger is always preceded by a sense of powerlessness and victimisation (FEAR), sometimes valid and sometimes misplaced, IMO but it has more feist in it than freezing and fawning. It can get you killed or shunned, or vilified, or condemned as a crazy, unpleasant or dangerous person if showed in the context of real threat, or to people that are just as, or even more, frightened than you are, but, it can liberate and give you the energy burst to bust out of an oppressive situation, at the right application of such, in certain situations.

From my non neurotypical perspective (Autists brain all look and act more "male" it is alleged) claiming extra victimhood for being female isn't very realistic. It's all so contextual that overgeneralzations about gender usually add to sexist notions and I thought we were all trying to get past sexism?

But I didn't read the article so apologies and please disregard if nothing I have said makes sense or is irrelevant
 
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Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro
Anger is always preceded by a sense of powerlessness and victimisation (FEAR),

Agree in the fact anger stems from fear however, I had not heard of fear being yoked with victimization as an absolute. As I fully respect your opinions (and facts) might you (or anyone else) add some links concerning this?
Definitely a subject to bring up with my T. Thanks.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
Another thing to note, IMO, is that anger is not aggression and aggression is not violence. Anger can lead to aggression and aggression can lead to violence but they are not the same things, even though people smudge them together, frequently, just as people often confuse jealousy and envy; they are not the same, although, they can be related and co existant.

Anger can manifest as resentment, stonewalling, sarcasm, raised voice or menacing quiet voice, avoidance or glaring, crying, self recrimination or other recriminations. It can involve emotional manipulation or overt physical aggressive body language.

Anger is manifest just as much in women as it is in men, but as women rarely have a physical advantage (except over children) we have, typically, honed more subtle and covert ways of exercising the kinds of control- getting that the fear-morivated emotional reactivity that typifies anger motivate, although female- anger motivated-violence seems to be on the rise in this age of entitlement, media saturation and rising levels of narcissism.

Humans get angry, but, those in more empowered positions can contain it and display it more openly, while those in more disempowered status positions typically resort to more covert resentments and undermining behaviours.

Manipulation, if you will, is a (sometimes but not always) disempowered and covert manifestation of anger (which is motivated by a belief in one's own powerlessness combined with a sense of threat) and so I cannot agree that women somehow display less anger. We just cry more and use all kinds of controlly tricky socially savy maneuverings to express our fear/control getting behaviours.

Humans cannot be denied their feelings, they will feel them regardless of how other's accept or don't accept but we all get cohersed by our cultural mores to find socially sanctioned ways to express our feelings.

That's called "maturity" in reasonably healthy societies.
 
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mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
Agree in the fact anger stems from fear however, I had not heard of fear being yoked with victimization as an absolute. As I fully respect your opinions (and facts) might you (or anyone else) add some links concerning this?
Definitely a subject to bring up with my T.
That's alright. I did add the disclaimer to disregard if it doesn't make sense or seems irrelevant.

I encourage you to just question the claim for yourself to see if it has merit.

Maybe, I am overreaching in my claim? I am certainly open to being proven wrong or to be disagreed with.

I guess my opinions come from my own life's experience and search for knowledge.

I don't think it's limited to feeling victimized for, just, one's self, I think it can be for other's too. The whole progression of our sense of what is just and fair is preceded by empathy and outrage and indignation of perceiving victimization or unfair treatment of other's.

Anger, really has it's place, provided we don't get stuck there, coz it's really a manifestation of suffering and unhappiness (IMO).
 
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Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro
@mumstheword ... I sincerely do not find your posts as well as contributions ”messy”. I do however, find your effort, time, and share of thoughts dedicated to your authenticity- without being confrontational refreshing. To share as well as grow, offering a few words on a big ball of yarn can appear a little tangled 🤗.
~~~~~

Is that because a huge amount of boys are raised by women who have not themselves been taught that anger is a real and important emotion on the spectrum human emotions

From my circle of single mothers (through abandonment, Service Wives, widows or divorce) I have seen this to be true. Yet, I really hadn’t considered it as an factor until you brought it up. 😊 Thanks.


The truth is.....other people's feelings are awkward to deal with for people who don't value their own feelings

So refreshing to hear that outside of an therapy office ! Thank you.


Also in women I noticed that anger and self harm are often sublimated in overdoing self care like skincare, plucking hair, epilation and loathing one's own body

You are an amazing writer much like another member that I admire. I only quoted one sentence yet I thought it did bear repeating as I had not considered that aspect prior. May I gingerly inquire- do you think self injury can be a result of misplaced anger? I respectfully withdraw if it is too close to home. 🙇🏻‍♀️


Is it anger or a desire to belong, to be accepted, to conform and derives from a place of maybe loneliness? As for loathing one's body isn't that about feelings of insecurity, unlovable and inability to find peace?

I have often in my younger years, mimicked cisgender standards of being ‘dolled up’ from a place of loneliness. As for the second sentence ... I felt compassion through your words. 🤗 I do agree it may be part of it from being broken or trapped into roles through gender.

@somerandomguy ... Thank you for your excellent contribution! Somehow, I could not get a sentence of yours to quote here 🤨 and was determined to offer kudos for your part. Thank you.
 
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