Women, Anger and Blogging

In the last few weeks, I’ve been thrilled and surprised to meet some incredibly articulate young women in the blogosphere.

When I stumbled onto the not-so-rambly Ramblings of the Insane Girl, it was the brutal honesty of her post about being Allergic to Home  that propelled me to hit ‘Follow’.  At last, there was someone game enough to admit their family was dysfunctional!  It took me right back to 1992…

I was, as usual, hidden away in my room, brooding on the inevitability of changing schools for the third time since Year 7.

Dad, of course, was refusing to send me to boarding school in Melbourne on account of it having corrupted my sister.  I, in opposition, was enacting a cold war.

Three weeks before the term began, when still no decision had been made, Dad suddenly entered my room and offered – as if it was his idea all along – to send me off to Melbourne.

Freedom was never so sweet as the day when, age 15, I won my independence.

It took us another eighteen years to actually discuss what happened after that, but hey – at least we’ve called a truce!

When I discovered the self-proclaimed Pessimistic Optimizer, it was honesty of a different kind that had me hooked.  I gather, from her posts, she is past the college age.  But I love the way she is able to reconnect me with that naïve, wannabe teacher’s pet, whose ultimate goal was to be a goodly shining light.

Problem was, like her, I ended up far too pessimistic  for my own good.  As she says, “How could I not be?  Have you seen the world we live in?”

When I left the safe cocoon of my sheltered private school life and entered the real world of corporate blood lust, my brain nearly exploded.

How could everyone be so mean and sleazy and downright greedy?

The worst thing that can happen to a Taurean goody-two-shoes, at the age of 22, is being told you are just “young and idealistic”.  Needless to say, what ensued was what my Mother affectionately refers to as “another one of Alarna’s little bombshells”.

My dubious art from Year 10

That was when I discovered the fine line between bravery and stupidity.

But that’s another story 🙂

It is possible, for these reasons, I was drawn to read The Musings of a Pirate.  They came in the form of a Personal Rant filed under ‘Socially Deprived’ (Disclaimer: this post contains coarse language). “Don’t waste your time with this”, she said.  So, of course, I did.  And it most definitely was NOT a waste.

Whiney, selfish, righteous rants don’t interest me.  But this is different.  It is full of energy, passion and highly motivated, female ANGER.  Anger at restraint.  At the way in which boys are encouraged to achieve, while girls are deemed “not ready”.  At the way an angry girl is mocked.

If anyone has ever wondered what goes on in the mind of their angry young women, this is a must read.  What I love is the constructive note of the anger, borne out of a desire to “ACHIEVE something in this world”.

Anger in women is a much maligned emotion.  Just compare a Google search on ‘Angry Young Man’ to ‘Angry Young Woman’.  One has a Wikipedia page and is clearly expected.  The other is a problem to be understood.

But history is full of highly effective angry young women.  Check out Colin Falcolner’s informative posts on Princess Pingyang, Mary Shelley and Isabella, Braveheart of France – to name a few.

The signs are there that the new millennium is calling for young women to be a force for change.  Take Buffy or Brave or Britain’s new generation of young, angry, female playwrights, for instance.  Then there’s will.i.am’s Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) advocacy, aimed at encouraging girls from the ghetto to be the leaders of tomorrow, (see the Graham Norton interview, 11:20 minutes in).

The question is how we harness the rage into a creative, rather than destructive, force.  Here, I think The Pirate might have given us a clue:

“I’m not that much different than the dogs I train and I just want to know I’m on the right track, at least a little. You’d suck as a dog trainer. You don’t have any clear objective, you’re light with your praise and heavy on your criticism. That’s what good dog trainers realize traumatizes a dog.”

Next week I promise to discuss the concept of dog parenting.  But for now, I think what she is saying is, all we need is a little positive reinforcement 🙂

I love that these days a blogosphere exists, where women can and do support each other.  Thanks to these young women, I’ve been reconnected with the passion of my youth.  Together, maybe there’s a chance that we can keep the flame alive…