|ANGER MANAGEMENT: Coping with Anger and the Signifcance of Silence|
|By Dominique Mendez-Rose and Kyle Westgate|
Anger is the root of all evil they say, right? Wrong, To me anger is not the root to the evil, it’s in fact the starting point to resolving evil and making sense to one another, being able to express your feeling and thoughts through anger, to communicate your problems and solve them. But indeed if you don’t resort to expressing your anger to other people, but instead bottle it inside and wait to unload it all at once to a certain party, it can be seen as evil and potentially an act of violence towards a certain group or individuals. This anger that you bottle up inside and keep quiet about is silence, afraid to speak freely because of who is around you and who you might offend. Therefore anger and silence go hand and hand. Almost like a twist that can’t be undone, the two together can be violent, the people need to speak freely and express their true feelings. Transformation of silence can be tough, and society can see it as acts of violence if you don’t play your cards right. Making the right approach like in our main Authors describe in “The Uses of Anger: Women Respond to Racism” and “ Transformation of Silence into Language and Action” by Audre Lorde and Gloria Anzaldua’s “ Speaking in Tongue”, depicts how you can be seen as a normal day citizen just trying to voice their own opinion, without being the root of all evil while doing so.
|Bottling in Anger|
First let’s show off the true colors of bottling in anger and being silent and what it really does to you, both as a person of everyday society and how you’re treated , and your inner personality and character traits. Shown in “ The Center of Masculinity Production Gay Athletes in Professional Sports” by Eric Anderson, He goes to describe what its like being silent and what it does to you. Imagine yourself surrounded by people that have all different preferences as you. This NFL player " Steven Thompson" was inside the closet gay, walking along the locker room as if he was just like the guys. It was difficult for Thompson as he always found himself biting his own tongue and having to keep his mouth shut, this holding true because he didn't want his teammates and the league to see him as different, as they would have seen him as soft and put him in a different image. A quote that he goes on to say which is quite sad “ I love football more than I love myself and my sense of pride and well-being”. Basically saying he can’t even be himself in his own life and can’t live freely and be proud of his own skin. So holding this all back for this one athlete gave himself a sense of worthlessness and not being able to fit in. By silencing himself, he not only was hurting the people around him, but he was hurting himself, as people can’t see him as he truly is as a person. Likewise he didn’t see himself in the right situation to speak out freely and equally as if he did choose to speak out and come out the closet, society wouldn’t allow it in his particular situation as he would then be targeted for injury and potentially cut from a team. So Silencing yourself can change your personality as you can see here how this athlete wasn’t able to be his true self.
Audre Lorde in “The Uses of Anger: Women Respond to Racism” shows a particular anger trigger with women and the color race they are, and how she copes with it and bottles up inside. And that you need to be able to contain this anger and make sure you play the right role in such a situation. The examples she gives are true and how this way of living is unjust to the colored women in this time, and is wrong to string them out of the occasion because of what they look like or the gender they are. The example she gives when they’re at an international cultural gathering for women. The white american poet is quickly and not a care in the world happily to interrupt the reading of the work of women of color to read her own poem because she has other important places to be, getting her mad (Lorde,1984). I agree with this as who made this poet more important and higher than the people by her side. who is she to say that she is more important than a certain group. So Lorde shows here how anger is being used and how she gets to this point, however the battle isn’t over as there needs to be a smooth transition into the transformation of silence and to be able to speak without being seen as violent and irrational.
Speaking in tongue by Gloria Anzaldua shows the true emotion of the ones voice and conveys how to transform such emotion into words and to finally speak out your in own voice and not to be silenced any longer. She is groundbreaking, making it this way for her voice to finally be heard by other minority writers out there, other writers out there that are afraid to voice their opinion in the world. But she makes it critical to make you think, why not you? why not voice your opinion? Some writers go on to say that they are afraid of what is to come. But what is there to be afraid of, as the minority writer, whether be Chinese women, or a black women, there is no going lower than where you are, Anzaldua describes and that there is nothing to lose, but to challenge the white male to finally understand their struggles, to finally have to coexist with each other and feel one another’s pain. Publishing and bringing out their work to the public is what Anzaldua dreamed of doing and wanted her and many others voices to be heard . To have them finally learn your culture and language, which reflects who you really are as a person and a community. Gloria Anzaldua speaks out to the uncourageous, unwillingly minority female that is afraid to write her troubles away, to finally voice her opinion, with writings and being able to speak your beliefs. As Anzaldua references to the difficulties of the impact that silence has on one’s self. Let’s explore further what silence means.
|What Your Silence is Really Saying|
Silence is a word we all understand as an absence of sound, prohibit or to prevent from speaking. We commit the act of silence rather frequently in an effort to protect ourselves. Silence is often controlled by outside forces oppose to what we may think. What forces us to be silent is our unconscious need to fit into society. We tend to want to make society comfortable in certain situations. It is in our nature to be harmonious and be non confrontational. But in all actuality our silence gives us a sense of false protection. Silence doesn’t fix anything at all, what it does is brushes the situation under the rug.
Silence is so easy to become accustomed to. In the essay, “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”, by Audre Lorde she discusses how to stray away from silence by holding one accountable for one’s own silence. I can attest to this because I am guilty of my own silen
ce. Whenever I revealed to anyone that I was married, people would ask me if I had a husband. For a very long time I wouldn’t correct
them because of the fear of making them feel uncomfortable. Eventually I was tired of being silent and I had to use my voice and educate them to how insensitive they were being. Audre lorde stated “Your silence will not protect you”, these words are powerful resonated with me because of the truth that comes with it. My silence will only continue to make me a person who is not whole, that is something that I nor anyone else should feel like. We shouldn’t put ourselves in situations where we value how society views us. We put on this award winning performance to prove to society that we are exactly what they think we are.
There are many different reason that we use silence. As a woman of color, I have been hit with the stereotype of an angry black woman. In society today they make that seem like that is all we are known for or that. In society today they make them seem like a terrible thing. In the “Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism” by Audre Lorde, it took away my fear of being an angry black woman. Lorde’s writings addresses that the appropriate reaction to racist comments. When placed in these circumstances, the right to be angry is sanctioned. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. I have always avoided confrontation. Another point that Lorde made is when she discussed the comfort level of white people. Some of them have this sense of superiority can make them feel like they aren't in the wrong when saying crude remarks. Black women cannot sacrifice to protect others from guilt. That statement was so powerful to me because I tend to take individuals feelings into account when I probably shouldn’t.
Silence and sexuality sometimes fall hand in hand. In the book Bridges Called Our Backs: Writings by Radical Women, there was a section that was titled La Guera by Cherrie Moraga. In this section the young woman described her family considering their life easier if they were effectively passable for being white. She also described her realization about her own sexuality. She made a statement that I was very powerful to me. She said, “My lesbiansim is the avenue throuh which I have learned the most about silence and oppression”. I relate to this because I remember feeling the same way when I finally came to terms with my own sexuality. I learned how difficult it was and how my silence only made me feel worst inside. I felt oppressed because I was told that my public displays of affection were frowned upon, and could ultimately be dangerous. All we want is to be treated fairly.
Silence shows no discrimination. Silence is done by everyone, no matter what their gender is. Males face many different challenges growing into their own manhood. However what is manhood and who sets these qualifications? Manhood is socially constructed. Males try so hard to fit into society, however this is a continuous ordeal. There is the fear of being seen as anything less than masculine. They have a need to distance themselves from anything that will make them seem as anything other than a man. The fear of being seen as a sissy dictates the cultural definition of manhood. They can sometimes present distance and silence due to struggling within themselves. In the essay, “Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear Shame and Silence in the Construction of Gender Identity” by Michael S Kimmel this brings forth how silence is used to as a defence technique. Kimmel states, Shame leads to silence- the silences that keep other people believing that we actually approve of the things that are done to women, to minorities, to gays and lesbians”. We must fight against the need to do this. Shame holds us down but we all have the strength to resurface. It is so much easier to retreat however that just breaks us down more and more. Silence is like giving someone a license to continue bad behavior. We must educate others and ourselves to do better than how we have done in the past.
We must speak out against silence. While doing so it is putting words to feelings and is giving truth a way out. All of these authors bring to light what has been shoved in the dark for far too long. It is giving a voice to those who were rendered speechless. It is letting women like me know that we are more than just woman of color. It’s letting males know that life isn’t all about a competition. We should be able to feel comfortable in our own skin. We are made up of many different intricacies, that we should embrace. We are being seen through the intersectional lens that will give us strength. Strength to make it through this world knowing we are better than what society may convey to us is best.It has shown us that it’s about time that we remove the blindfold that has been keeping us ignorant to what is happening in the world. We must stop shielded ourselves for others. We have been doing this for far too long. We all must remember, “Our silence will not protect us”.