Expressing Anger is Healthy. Here’s How Parents Can Encourage Their Girls to Get Angry and Show It by K. Rope
As I’ve noted before, Christian Gender Complementarianism is nothing but Codependency for Girls and women.
My mother was a Christian who believed in traditional gender roles as taught by the Baptist church, and she was definitely codependent – in part because of those sexist Christian complementarian teachings, but also due to having been raised in an alcoholic family where she took on codependent behaviors to try to protect herself.
One aspect of complementarianism – of codependency – is to socialize girls and women to suppress their anger.
Secular culture also plays at that game as well, but churches lay it on even more strongly, and tell girls and women it’s “God’s design” for girls and women to always be sweet, agreeable and smiley, to lack boundaries – so, if you are female, you’re never supposed to show anger.
Since I’ve abandoned complementarianism and codependency, I’ve had to learn how to show anger, and I’ve had to realize it’s okay to show anger – this comes after years and years, up to my early 40s!, of repressing anger.
One thing that continual repression of anger (and boundaries) can do in a person is lead to, or intensify, depression and anxiety. God did not design girls and women to be perpetual, loving, sweet, little cupcakes who never express their anger, no matter what.
My mother definitely taught me from youth to place a premium in how others perceived me, that I care more about what others thought about me than what I thought about myself, and that I come across as “likable” and “sweet” to everyone all the time – that was a huge, huge parenting Fail on her part.
In telling girls to be nice and stifle anger, we neglect to teach them they have a right to be respected
by K. Rope
….The other book, “Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger” by Soraya Chemaly, looks at the extensive research on our gendered relationship with anger.
There is little difference in how boys and girls experience and express emotions, says Chemaly, but there is substantial difference in how we respond. Girls are rewarded for being pleasant, agreeable and helpful.
By preschool, children believe it is normal for boys to be angry, but not girls.
“We are so busy teaching girls to be likable that we forget to teach them that they have the right to be respected,” Chemaly told me. And the effects of that carry into adulthood.