5 Things to Do with Your Feminine Rage for Good
A few weeks ago, I wrote 5 Things You Can Do with Your Feminine Rage. It was, in its way, meant to skirt the line between humor and reality. I did feel Feminine Rage, quite regularly, and not just in regards to the election season or the Stanford rape case or Bono getting chosen for Woman of the Year or the state of North Carolina or Ava Duvernay’s amazing new documentary or…I’m getting sidetracked because holy shit there are so many things to have Feminine Rage about.
But you, my salty women and men and genderfluid friends, have come to realize your Feminine Rage could indeed burn higher. It could turn into a blazing, eyes-go-dark, grand mal seizure-level Feminine Fury.
What are we to do with this fiery energy?
I am not an expert on politics (and very likely the opposite) or advice or really anything except fried chicken. But here are some suggestions to use that Feminine Rage and not let it get snuffed out. That’s what they want from you. You know who they are.
Because you’re tired. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that you’re tired. I’m tired as well. Let the Feminine Rage do the work for you. Let it snap your spine back into the steel it forged from your bones and set fire to your brain.
1. Do Whatever the Fuck You Want, But Really Do It
Do you want to mourn? Yes, I know. Please do. Do you want to write 10-page long Facebook rants? Yes, I know. Please do. Do you want to take to the streets with burning Trump effigies? Yes, I know. Please do. Do you want to run for office someday yourself? Yes, I know. Please do. Do you want to explain to your children or your sibling’s children or your friends’ children that you’ll somehow make it better for them soon? Yes, I know. Please do.
I am not being sarcastic. Do it. Really do it. Do something, do anything. When you are done doing that, do something else.
The one thing I would urge you not to do: don’t shit on other people who are doing something different. We celebrate and we cry and we rage in our own ways. Some people choose to look for hope. Other people choose to leave work that day. Some people may actually move to Canada. But you are not more enlightened or sensitive or suffering harder than anyone else on your side. Because they are on your side. Take an action, no matter how small. And maybe then consider taking a slightly larger action.
I believe in volunteering. I know we all more or less say we do, but I really mean it. I believe in volunteering as a part of daily life in the same way that eating dinner with friends or catching up on Netflix shows should feel like a natural activity. Never forget that there are numerous people in the world and definitely in this country who have devoted their lives to largely thankless tasks that benefit our society in the most direct way.
I wrote an article about cynical reasons people volunteer (mostly because I’m kind of a dick) but at the heart of it, my point was that it doesn’t matter why you volunteer. Just pick something you care about, literally anything that matters: parks, dogs, children, women, the ocean. guinea pigs. I guarantee you can find a volunteer opportunity to spend one goddamned Sunday afternoon when you would otherwise just be reading infuriating media posts (they started this, by the way) to help somebody. I wouldn’t generally choose to help privileged white men though because they’ve had more than enough help.
Did you see a protest marching down the street today? I hope so. Were you a part of it? That’s great! No? That’s ok, too! Because there are so many ways to protest. You can march. You can close your business down. You can take the time, energy and Buddha-like patience to comment on every Trump supporter’s gloats on your friends’ profiles. You can call out your own friends, and even your own family.
For about 2 hours today, I hijacked Christmas. My parents (and I) are first-generation Chinese immigrants. They live in Alabama and they voted for Trump. In a furious string of words, I told them I was unlikely to come home for Christmas because I was ashamed of them. I told them that their consequences have actions and to think beyond themselves. I told my little sister she could spend the holidays in SF with me, that I would help her pay for the flights and left my parents to consider a future explaining to their friends why their children were not at their annual Christmas Eve party.
They did apologize. I have not yet forgiven them.
And no, it will not always be that easy. Your goal here is not to lose friends and family but that is a very real stake of this situation. My parents are, like so many Americans, largely un-informed and apathetic. They are also, like so many Americans, racist and homophobic. I could tell you they were raised that way and it would be true. I could tell you that doesn’t make it ok and that would be true also.
So protest. Make the world as uncomfortable as holding all this Feminine Rage inside you makes you uncomfortable.
Did you donate to your candidate, which I hope to God was Hillary if you’ve already gotten this far? Do you donate to a certain political party, to a PAC, to a Congressional candidate?
Do you donate to local charities? Do you spend the same amount of money each month that you would spend on a transbay Bart ride on solving problems here, where you live?
Do you donate to global charities? Do you look them up on a rating scale like Charity Navigator to determine which one deserves your hard-earned money?
Do you get to the part of your taxes each year where you can write off charitable deductions and have nothing to report?
Money matters. We know that. And if you’re in the 15% of the population who really truly does not have time to volunteer, but you do actually make a living income (I’m not talking about our Bay Area-complaint income, I mean do you have enough money to regularly buy a PBR)…it’s time to pay up.
5. Stand Up for Each Other
This happened today. Not only did it happen, Josie Duffy Rice posted this to Facebook and it was flagged, then removed. By the time I saw this on my friend’s feed, I had to search her profile to know what she was referring to. People began reposting this in an effort to circumvent Facebook’s ridiculous censorship. This inspired me to write this aftermath follow-up article.
Because the biggest problem of “open-minded”, “progressive” or “liberal” Americans is that when the time comes, when we are called upon to go out of our way to stand up for someone else, more often than not…we turn inward and not out.
I know this because I experience it almost daily. The almost poetically outrageous mix of xenophobic or sexist vitriol that gets hurled at me like ripples in a pond of trash water goes seemingly without notice by the general populace. I could count on one hand the amount of times someone has stood up for me, even when literally being sexually assaulted on a Bart car on a Tuesday afternoon full of people while I yelled at a man to stop touching me. Every woman you know has that story and every woman you know has never felt like their country hates them more than now.
Even my friends have told me not to scream or fight in a bad situation. Other women especially tell me to “let it go” when I am catcalled or ass-groped or I start explaining to a man that he is mansplaining to me.
And the sad reality is that yes, if I fight back alone, I am likely to get hurt. There is a good probability that the backlash will be worse than the initial affront. So stand up for me. At least stand up with me. Ask how to help if you don’t know the best way to do so. Learn what kinds of actions you can take in any situation. Figure it out until you know what to do when someone is being abused on the street or receiving death threats online or bullied at school or losing hope.
Be a friend to each other, even if that means just being angry together.
Point #4 of my original Feminine Rage article still stands: it’s better together.