Alright, what do I have to do to summon a skeptic or whatever they’re called on short notice? We’re talking Brené Brown at the church I’ve been visiting lately and her “”discoveries”” have been driving me up the wall.
Tag Archives: emotion
I don’t know if I’ve said it here before but I’m saying it now: I don’t adhere to or support any guideline for How You Should Live Life that’s based on feeling the correct feelings, whether that means feeling others’ feelings (“empathy” as a prerequisite for correct morality); disallowing yourself unhappiness (“staying positive” as a virtue); or pushing discomfort, risk, and unease as self-justifying mandates (in praise for “vulnerability” and “getting out of your comfort zone”). Dogmas of feelings have always been useless at best for me, outright detrimental more often than not, and I don’t want any part in them.
This declaration warrants some disclaimers, I know. But I’m not going to spend a lot of time on what this post isn’t about. This is a post that celebrates the most socially-devalued kinds of anger as potentially revolutionary, healthy, and brave. I love angry people — because anger is the emotional manifestation of resistance, because I understand that anger and reason are not mutually exclusive, and because we’ve been taught that angry is the worst thing we can be when it relates to our own oppression.
I come from a culture of stock narratives about anger: the stereotypes of the angry feminist, the angry black man, the angry black woman, angry queers, etc. The specter of these stereotypes is constructed to haunt the groups they target, pressuring them to swallow their words for fear of being slapped with the label and dismissed as irrational and out of line. It is a tool of preemptive silencing. There is no equivalently powerful stereotype in circulation for (angry) white men, for (angry) able-bodied cishets, for (angry) upper-class neurotypicals. I don’t have to tell you why.