[for seven year old anna, and kesha and u all]
tw: self harm, sexual assault, anger, violence, sex
What are we made of but hunger and rage? – anne carson
[this is maybe a bit of a different newsletter today, but I’m feeling it so here we go!]
a search for anger comes up with pictures of white men yelling. but anger isn’t just for white men (obviously). plus anger isn’t only expressed via yelling. so lets talk about what its like to be a woman or a girl or a non-binary person expression anger, alone, in public and as part of a community. or something like that.
Firstly i found this lovely article about all female bands and the way they use anger as energy
“Expressing anger freely and publicly as a woman is a political act, even if sometimes an unconscious one. By being audibly angry and defiant and accepting anger as a cathartic feeling, a woman stands in opposition to the idea that her emotions are not valid.”
“Big Joanie’s Steph Phillips made a clear point about their space in the scene: “We labelled ourselves a black feminist punk band because there wasn’t a black feminist punk band. There were black women in bands, they very rarely identified as feminist and even after that they very rarely acknowledged their race. So, I guess we just wanted to make sure that in this scene, people were seeing black women on stage.”
[if anyone has access to a pdf copy of this paper it also looks On Point! poly styrene is such a BABEEE]
ANGER IS ENERGY ANGER IS ENERGY
this idea always thrills me and i think anger does fuel a lot of my work and activism. i like to intellectualise rage and i also like to simply use it. Rei kawakubo (a famous fashion designer of the brand Comme Des Garcons) has talked about her own use of anger to create. and this is where the distinction between productive anger is i think? when the anger you feel can be channelled into something, anything big or small, it can be really cathartic and healing. feel the rage feel the heat. and then GO.
i have a sticky relationship with anger. when i was younger i was all anger, and as a result i didn’t want anyone to know about the massive red dragon inside of me so i hid it and hurt myself and it has only been in the past two years or so that i have felt comfortable and even excited by my ability to express anger (although i still struggle with expressing anger towards or rather ON myself). i recently however got a tattoo that i feel really honours my own rage – it says “touch me and you’ll burn” and its a warning/reminder to myself and others that if you go against me/break my boundaries etc you might not LITERALLY burn, but you will burn under the gaze of my rage
apparently, that line is from a margaret atwood poem called helen of troy does countertop dancing. and i wasn’t like really aware of the poem before i got the tattoo tbh because those words were important to me without poetry, but its cool how much the poem itself is a torch full of rage and hatred and survival. get angry about and towards other people isn’t a bad thing. you are allowed to be angry to feel angry
ANGER AS SURVIVAL
anger is really important to getting THROUGH sometimes i think, it can be all that drives you and saves you, a potentially dangerous coping mechanism. Take the character NIMONA, inside her is an angry child. and outside her is a slippery, interesting, talented young women. her angry inside eats the bad away for a while. and her monstrosity is anger which is power which is hers. all hers.
i dont understand why we are expected to not be angry? to not be angry about the oppression we face and the violation we have experienced and the continuous undermining that goes on? why? how else could a human being respond?!
There is such strength in anger as survival, it makes me think about Maya Angelou’s great poem Still I Rise, and the cathartic power of watching/reading about female superheroes like Peggy Carter, Lady Thor and Jessica Jones. PLUS i love any kind of subversion and queering – in a great book about the women of modernism called Heroines, Kate Zambreno writes: “Fuck the Canon. Fuck the boys with their big books. For, after all, we must be our own heroines”. our own flawed, resilient beings. fuck everyone else.
i was searching through my tumblr for things tagged with rage or anger and i found this gifset of the character Joanna Mason from the Hungers Games. She’s brilliant throughout the books possibly even the best character in them and SO angry. and so Powerful. almost all the time! she’s great.
this got me thinking back to how racially coded anger can be/ the language around anger and i found this great post about taking nicki mina’s anger seriously and not just making fun of it because we are so uncomfortable with women expressing anger in public spaces. its old so i apologise 4 that.
there is this AMAZING picture book called WILD which i adore and its about this wild girl and how they try an ‘civilise’ her but can’t because she belongs in the open air and in the forest, and its beautifully drawn and just great.
here is a poem by Stacyann Chin called if only out of vanity and its so FULL, like of everything, but especially passion and expression and anger and ugh i love it so much. she’s so vibrant and brilliant.
a while ago Natasha made this rad playlist called ‘Angry Black Women‘ which you should definitely listen too!!!
other music/ music videos i would recommend is the video for the song WHITES NOT MY COLOUR THIS EVENING by cherry glazerrr (cn: for menstruation). visible messy eating, and an ending that is basically kicking a boy on the road. SO GOOD. plus such good looks and generally brilliant to rock out to. + ugly by skating polly ALWAYS ++ two great songs by Rihanna – man down and bitch better have my money [obvs] both videos contain blood and fairly graphic depictions of violence, +in man down there is some physical violence so take care and maybe just listen to them. rihanna’s looks in bbhm are so freaking good wow. lastly my house by pvris because my body and my head is MY HOUSE I OWN IT GET OUT.
a long time ago now someone did these amazing tweets or like twitter poem about rage and what is palatable and ok and i think its brilliant so enjoy it here.
ANGER IS DISRUPTION
disruption to the way things are, and with that in mind here is a video about the guerrilla girls, an art feminist collective and some other Fierce Women of Art.
lastly if you are feeling a lot of anger at yourself and need a self harm and need to see blood, this website might be helpful to you ❤ ❤
there are a lot of things in this newsletter today so i hope you can find something you like/relate to/enjoy/find inspiring 🙂
things i just found which look great
Sad Asian Girls Club [cool art collective!!]
– this interesting interview with the author helen oyeyemi, i particularly like the parts about keys and how you can’t seem to grasp them really!
thats it from me *whoosh* [that was my anger, now validated sliding out of me, for the current moment]
love you all so much!
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