Harnessing Our Anger

Harnessing Our Anger

Glennon Doyle

Q: “I’m really struggling with my anger lately. I just feel angry all the time. What’s wrong with me?”

There is nothing wrong with you because you are angry. Anger is a normal human instructional emotion, just like joy. It’s just that we as women—just like every marginalized group—[are] trained and tamed to be ashamed of our anger.

It’s important for every single marginalized group to be trained and told, over and over again, that if they’re angry that means there’s something wrong with them.

Why would power structures want marginalized groups to believe that their anger is something to be ashamed of? Because people who do not struggle with their anger, but instead embrace their anger and harness their anger, are people who demand change.

The only people who have ever changed the world were people who were pissed off, and who stopped trying to manage their anger, or fix their anger, or struggle with their anger—and instead embraced their anger, harnessed their anger with other angry people, and unleashed it in creative ways to make change.

What if instead of struggling with our anger, we consider that when we feel angry inside, maybe it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with us? Maybe it means there’s something wrong. Not wrong with us: wrong out there; something that we might be able to help change.

Women, from time immemorial, have been gaslit by the entire world. Every time we felt angry, somebody tells us we’re crazy. The truth is that angry women are not broken. We are just some of the only people who are responding appropriately to a broken world.

Most of my activism in the world is done because I have trusted my anger; because when I get pissed off, I just assume that there’s something to be pissed off about. And I find other pissed-off women, and we pull together our genius, and our talent, and our resources, and our energy, and we unleash it.

The really cool thing about anger is that when you use it out there, it disappears for a while. When you stop swallowing it over and over again, and studying it, and trying to not be it, and feeling ashamed of it, and not speaking your truth…when you use it, it’s fuel: it burns up, and then you just settle back down until you get pissed off again.

 

from Glennon Doyle's Instagram video on March 19, 2020 (approx. 7:15 to 12:00)