Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Because women get hurt instead of angry

The ladies men admire, I’ve heard,

Would shudder at a wicked word.

Their candle gives a single light;

They’d rather be at home at night.

They do not keep awake till three,

Nor read erotic poetry.

They never sanction the impure,

Nor recognise an overture.

They shrink from powders and from paints

So far, I’ve had no complaints.

Dorothy Parker

Anger is good.

It is cleansing, it’s a burst of clarifying energy that gets things done, and it is of short duration.

A hurt is a wound that festers. It smolders in the brain such that every little gesture adds to it, feed it and forces it to make its presence felt years and years after the event.

Men understand anger. This is why two men can be furious with each other, have it out, and then be best mates thirty minutes later. For a man, anger is a way of dealing with something deep seeded that needs to be brought to the surface so that it no longer has a holdover you and no longer can do any damage where it is.

Women do not understand anger. If they mastered it, got a little angry (and then stopped being angry) sometimes, they may find communicating with their men a lot healthier. Instead of the brooding deep-sighed misery, they may get things dealt with fast and efficiently in a manner that brings problem to a head and then clears it up so that it goes away.

A quality of anger, however, is being clear about what it is that has upset you. If you’re not clear, if you can’t define it properly, then brooding is preferable to anger. Anger is dramatic and it begs accuracy – you’re putting yourself out there and you had better have your complaint clear. You need to prove your distress. But brooding allows you to get away with a lack of clarity and therefore lets you silently dwell till you’ve so distorted the original problem that you couldn’t declare it or stand for if you tried.

And anger isn’t that pissyness that you get when you stomp around the house for days. And it isn’t the built up frustrations of many years of relationship disappointment. It’s a burst whose intention is to take control of a situation or an action before it becomes a larger problem.

In romance novels the women get angry but the problems are very clear – like your gorgeous vampire god like boyfriend is being attacked by the Vultari or the man you’re secretly deeply attracted to keeps teasing you to go on a date with him. For women, this sort of anger is acceptable because the reasons for it have already been provided and they don’t have to justify it to anyone.


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