In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss whether or not women should get angry.
First a quick update:
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Now, let’s talk about whether or not women should get angry.
I have written many articles about anger.
Anger is the initial emotional response to being hurt, injured or wronged, or, not getting what you wanted or expected.
Anger is not always a negative emotion or response; it can bring about positive change: without anger such as righteous indignation, there would be no response to injustices in the world. For example, we need anger to drive us to take immediate and rapid action to intervene and fend off an attacker in order to protect someone who is being beaten, robbed or bullied.
When anger is directed in the wrong way, it can become extremely destructive (unwarranted violence and abuse against oneself and other people or literally smashing and destroying things and property.) Anger when not dealt with properly can also lead to drunken binges and drug abuse. According to a study in the UK, a man who felt angry was more likely to drink the next day than a man who did not feel angry. And yes, the drinking failed to ease the sorrows or anger. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2380887/Alcohol-sexes-Men-tend-drink-theyre-angry-women-feel-depressed-night-out.html
So, is anger a gender-specific emotion?
Is anger reserved only for men?
What happens when women become angry?
In Rush Hour 2, Chris Tucker plays a policeman chasing a Chinese Triad (crime gang.) In one scene, Chris Tucker is in a final violent confrontation with a woman from the Triad (played by Ziyi Zhang) and when she gets knocked out to the ground, he blurts angrily:
“We could have been a good couple, we could have had something special, but you’re one crazy-ass bitch.”
Incidentally, that line was not in the original script – it was something Chris Tucker adlibbed. Although this is a very comical scene, the point here is that women who express anger are usually portrayed or described as “you’re PMS-ing’, you’re overreacting, you’re being crazy.”
Society has extraordinary disdain for angry women, while rewarding angry men.
“As in prior research, men who expressed anger in a professional context were conferred higher status than men who expressed sadness. However, both male and female evaluators conferred lower status on angry female professionals than on angry male professionals. This was the case regardless of the actual occupational rank of the target, such that both a female trainee and a female CEO were given lower status if they expressed anger than if they did not. Whereas women’s emotional reactions were attributed to internal characteristics (e.g., ‘‘she is an angry person,’’ ‘‘she is out of control’’), men’s emotional reactions were attributed to external circumstances. Providing an external attribution for the target person’s anger eliminated the gender bias.”
- ‘Can an Angry Woman Get Ahead? – Status Conferral, Gender, and Expression of Emotion’ study by Victoria L. Brescoll and Eric Luis Uhlmann – Yale University and Northwestern University, 2008 http://www.socialjudgments.com/docs/Brescoll%20and%20Uhlmann%202008.pdf