That's Angry, Whiny Queen Bitch to you

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Anger. Angry women. Mean bitches. Fat, ugly bitches. Hostile ho's. Man hating dykes. Skanks, skeezers, whiny I need to go on?

These are all things that have been said about True Wife. While I have addressed a facet of this before in this post, I feel the need to explore some more.

The prime question: What is it about angry women that evokes such a strong reaction?

Is it purely because we have been socialized to think of angry women as "out of control"? That these women must be put down, or shut away? That a woman who speaks her truth can not simply be expressing an opinion or feeling, but is seen as a threat to womanhood?

The long and short of it is Yes. Angry women have historically been shut away, shut up, shut off. Sure a few get out. But Rarely. Rarely. The societal tide that keeps a tight lid on what women say and do in the public eye is still iron strong. Don't believe me? Go to your playgroup and announce that you hate being a mother. Better yet, tell a soon to be married friend what marriage is REALLY like. Everything. Even the night that you fought about why the toilet wasn't fixed. Or the fight about why you didn't have the common decency to leave me ONE bottle of Spring water. Or the compromise sex, so you can get back to what you were doing....

Dear God. The tide of women trying to sweep you out of the room and away from the true believers will be gi-normous. Nice ladies don't SAY these things out loud. They shouldn't even think them, let alone say them...or write them down.

Women's anger triggers something so fearful that it must be suppressed at all costs. If one woman breaks out of the fold, the rest are sent to reel her back in. If they can't do it nicely, they will do it dirty. The name calling, the insinuations, the out right smack down. Say you don't like your husband and you become a fucking whore who should have never gotten married.

Say you don't like your child? Why don't you blow your brains out before your child becomes a miserable bitch like you. She's going to be a useless waste of space - just like you - anyway.

Speak a truth and you become a whiner. Oh, and probably Fat too.

If the women can't reel you back in - the men start. Miserable bitches who don't deserve to be married at all. "I feel sorry for the poor guys who married these lazy bitches."

Geesh. Even Morphing into Mama got in on it. Asking why TWC didn't have a torch carrying mob beating down my door (referencing a confession about "since you gained so much weight I'm just not as attracted to you).

Oh, but I do.

The thing is? My mob is the mob of angry women. The torches they are carrying aren't against me - they're FOR me, and every other woman in the world. Every other woman who was sold these cults called motherhood and marriage and are standing up to say "Sometimes things Suck! Why did no one tell me! Why haven't I had a girlfriend lean in and say these things to me?" I'm not suggesting they let the cult down by gaining weight. That's why they aren't coming for me.

I'm not afraid of women's anger. Maybe this is because I do not fear my own anger. Yes, there are times when I read confessions and wish I could help someone process what she is feeling. There are times when I worry for someone I don't know. However, the truths that are being expressed in this venue are so potent, so gritty that it has taken on it's own life entirely.

Life is about choices. My shitload of therapy has illuminated that I have a series of choices both before and behind me. I am where I am through my own choices and it is my future choices which will lead me to where ever I land.

I did not start at this place, however. At first, it was all my parents fault. They were the reason I was unhappy. Then, it was my boyfriends fault for being so controlling. And when it stopped being everyone else's fault, I saw it was my choices - my ownership of the place I was choosing to be now. You can't be a victim if you choose to Not be a victim. You become, in that moment, a survivor. The power dynamic shifts.

For some of the women writing to TWC, I look at this as a step in the journey for them. Some call it whining, I see it as testing an unused part of their inner voices. The part that will some day awaken to the choices they have both before and behind them. I will have been honored to have even the smallest part in that awakening.

30 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

CATHARSIS: A release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.

That's what TWC offers any woman who needs a little refreshing of her spirit.

Anonymous said...

People mock what they don't understand. Plain and simple.

The truth is we all suck it up - you just offer those folks a place to let it out. I'm sure a True Husband's Confessions would go over just as well too - I don't doubt my huz would complain about me - and so be it. We're not perfect. That's the whole point.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Her Bad Mother's Basement has been the source of criticism like this -- somehow I don't think so, but I wonder why. Do you think it's because the true wife confessions are just blurbs rather than complete stories with context like in HBM's basement? I always assume there's a whole context -- a whole story -- behind the confessions on your site. But then again, you never hear people complain about the blurbs they read on PostSecret...

Release of stress is healthy. We all need a place to vent. The people who don't like it should just go elsewhere.

Fraulein N said...


Fascinating how people think one of the worst insults you can fling at a woman, particularly one who's "uppy" or "out of control" is to call her fat.

selzach said...

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that there have been such vitriolic responses to TWC. But I am. TWC is wonderful, a place for women to blow off a little steam without hurting anyone's feelings. I have to bite my tongue at least several times a day over the stupid shit Hubby does that annoys me.

Andrea said...

Any revolutionary idea (and that's what this is, since it's women, however anonymously, speaking up about the ugly they can't admit out loud) is bound to draw ire, and once again, you've said so well why this outlet is necessary.

And as an overweight woman despite my best efforts, I TOTALLY resent that there are people labeling the confessors as "probably fat, too". The fuck? Not even names are associated with these confessions and certainly no pictures, and yet they are not only being judged on their confessions as taboo and whiny bitchiness, but they are also being called lazy and fat to boot, when there's no way to know any sort of physical characteristics. You wanna talk about lazy? Ask the woman who is aggravated that she not only has to work full time, but must also come home and take care of a house full time while her husband plays video games to describe lazy. Ask the woman who said that the best foreplay would be if she had a little help cleaning up the kitchen after dinner to describe lazy. Ask some of the other women bloggers who've ranted about their husband's golf penchant several weekends in a row, and have complained that they are expected to do all the thinking for a smooth running household. Ask them about lazy. But I tell you what, not ONE of the site's detractors is calling the video game player or golfer fat, or the guy at the end of the bar complaining about going a whole week without nookie fat just because he's complaining. No one is perfect and I would like to see just one of these judgmental idiots turn their lives inside out the way these confessors and other bloggers have done and find that their farts smell like roses and that they have not one single flaw. You think you're better? PROVE IT, asshole!

And calling them fat because they air truths that "shouldn't" be aired? That's just mean. Bastards.

(Sorry to hijack, Dawn. Off my soap-box now.)

Jaelithe said...

Well, shoot. They can call me a bitch or a dyke 'til the cows come home. I like angry women (I mean, as long as they're angry for a good reason, and not at me), and I like lesbians. No problems there. Although I'd hate to disappoint any perfectly nice lesbian women who might think they have a shot with me due to false advertising on the part of my detractors. Ah, well. I love my husband.

And I'll keep confessing ;)

LittlePea said...

Yesterday was my first visit to TWC and I loved it(love your other blogs too by the way-being a new blogger myself). Well reality must be slapping your critics in the face and they can't think of anything else to say. They're probably afraid to admit to themselves that they've had those kinds of moments.... unless they're aliens. So they attack to distract their own feelings and refusal to confront their own issues. I love my husband like there's no tomorow but that doesn't mean he never pisses me off.
It sure would be nice if "perfect" women would offer a little support and understanding once in a while to those who don't "have it all together". Men have always had a good ol' boys club-where's ours?

C said...

Solidarity, sister.

Diana said...

I think all the women above have said exactly what i was thinking. (Especially Andrea)
TWC is a haven for us. Fuck them.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I think you are right on about the reaction to women's anger.

Plus it's hard for me to read about the hell that other people go through. I feel sad that they are so angry or hurting so much. I want to help them, and I can't.

But what I can do is listen. Without judgment. And remember that if I haven't been in their place already, I may very well end up there someday. Because one thing I've learned is that you just never fucking know.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that it's good to vent, to let go, to get it out, in whatever medium is best for individual people, whether it be throwing rocks in the lake and screaming, throwing punches at a punching bag, cleaning, exercizing, screaming in your pillow or leaving anonymous confessions on a website. I've always thought that it's good to get those things out of yourself because if you don't, you end up squashing it down inside of yourself, and then one day when you least expect it it will come back up with such force and speed that you won't be able to control yourself.

But that's just what I think.

Hero said...

With every new Confession, I'm able to realize that I'm not alone out here annoyed by some things my husband does. Being annoyed doesn't mean I don't love him or that I want to leave him. It means he's being an ass about something and it annoys me.

Being able to say those things out loud without judgement is free therapy.

Keep it going and don't listen to the haters. What they don't know is that their SO/DH/Wife has things they'd love to add to the list....and probably already have.

Mom101 said...

This is fantastic Dawn. I love that there's the brash, funny side of you that tosses out brilliantly biting one-liners like they're a dime a dozen...and I love the side of you that writes eloquently about issues like this.

I'm with you - angry women scare the menfolk. Also the womenfolk who get all their self-esteem from the menfolk.

Lisa said...

Exactly Dawn. You hit the nail square on the head on many issues here. I didn't realize you were getting so many angry responses. Course I haven't been reading the comments as much.

There are times I read where the confessions make me feel grateful. There are times I read my heart breaks for another person who's obviously having a hard time. Marriage and motherhood ARE difficult. And no one really tells you that.

Thanks for publishing a few of my confessions. And when I've sent you a confession, I feel a little lighter. If I get that frustruation out, I can then look for ways to make (like you said ) a positive choice.

E. said...

Yes, catharsis, venting, so important. And you are damn right, Dawn, angry women are threatening. Women who don't fit into the mold of feminine, nicey-nice, conflict-avoiding women are threatening. Hell, women who don't shave their fucking legs regularly, and those who aren't apologetic or self-hating about being fat, and those who don't euphemize their own sexual desires (I could go on and on) are threatening. I gotta bring up the F word here, ladies. This is *not* a "post-feminist" world. We need feminism more than ever, one of the few movements to acknowledge and affirm women's righteous anger.

Anonymous said...

That was really interesting for me to read. Thanks. To be honest I stopped visiting TWC shortly after the first couple of posts because it felt too whiney for me. It felt too non-productive. It felt mean spirited. I didn't want to be apart of that. Reading your post today reframed it a little for me, and I am going to visit there with a renewed perception. I submitted a confession in the beginning and felt immediately guilty about it. Not because I don't think it was valuable, but because I felt that the power dynamic in my relationship is equal ennough that I shouldn't be addressing my confession to the internet but rather to him. And I did address it to him after submitting it. And you know- in retrospect I think the process of submitting it to TWC played a major role in propelling me to discuss my "confession" with my man.

So double thanks.

Meghan said...

Rock on TWC! Clearly the anger makes people uncomfortable... TOO BAD. HA. TAKE THAT YOU REPRESSION PORMOTING NINCOMPOOPS!

And when these people resort to name-calling, it just reveals their true sickeness, I mean, when you have the time to think about a comment, write it out and post it, and the only insult you can come up with is to call someone fat? That is truly pathetic. That is downright lame-brained. LAME BRAINED.
Does the anger frighten you? Then don't read it, or better yet, put the f-ing toilet seat down!

Victoria Martin said...

WOW, what a well-written post! Amazing how easily an angry woman gets labelled a bitch and worse and how much society seeks to quieten that anger! Thank you for voicing this disturbing double-standard so eloquently!

Anonymous said...

As someone who has had her confessions posted on TWC, I appreciate having the outlet. If I have a serious problem with something my husband is doing, I'm going to tell him. But if I'm just annoyed with some habit of his, something I know he isn't going to change, then I'm not going to pick a fight with him. TWC is the place to air the little annoyances without causing marital trouble.

As for the commenters, I say fuck 'em. After my experience with I Talk Too Much, I've just had it with people who have nothing better to do than bitch and complain about other people's business. If an angry woman is a bitch, is an angry man a bastard?

MrsFortune said...

I heart you, Dawn!!! I've been looking for ways to explode the conspiracy of silence among women for a long time. TWC and HBM's basement are just small steps along the way but we will bust open this damn conspiracy.

Stacy said...

I just discovered TWC a few days ago and had no idea you are the genius behind it. I think it's fascinating and much-needed. A place for women to vent without the fear of hurting someone's feelings is awesome. I was thinking about doing something similar on my own blog but for mom confessions. You know those big mommy oops we all have that you never want to admit to? Like forgetting to make your toddler brush her teeth ... three nights in a row! confession is definitely good for the soul!

Miguelita said...

Dawn, TWC is what gets me through the day sometimes. I love knowing I am not crazy, that other women have similiar frustrations and anger.

I love my husband, and I love my life, but in the eloquent words of MotherGooseMouse
" thing I've learned is that you just never fucking know."

Can I please get that stenciled in frilly caligraphy over my kitchen table?

Anonymous said...

I think its wonderful that you have given a voice to those that have none.

Anonymous said...

As the girl with the Ani DiFranco quote for every occasion, I'll post this:

"I am not an angry girl,
But it seems like I've got everyone fooled .
Every time I say something they find hard to hear,
They chalk it up to my anger, and never to their own fear.
Imagine you're a girl,
Just trying to finally come clean,
Knowing full well they'd prefer you were dirty,
And smiling..."

Bobita said...

I went to see my Doc yesterday. I told him that I'm pretty sure I'm depressed. Extreme lethargy, extreme irritability, sad mood...all adds up to depression. And he agreed. He gave me some new meds. To help the ADD and the depression. I love my Doctor.

I went home to tell my husband that I was starting new meds. And he growled, "I think it is all in your head, etc, etc," To which I replied, "I have two choices...divorce you, so that I am not so angry about how unsupportive and unfair you are...or take anti-depressants. Which would you prefer?"

Needless to is a Prozac, Wellbutrin cocktail for me. Anger? A little bit.

I love you for writing this post.
Love. You.

Debbie said...

people who can't stand seeing the beacon of truth are probably just unaccustomed to its intensity. they live in the shadows, and that's their comfort zone.

it's difficult to learn to love the searingly bright truth light, but once you start hanging around in it, you can't go back to the shadows.

your truth, Dawn, is like a beacon. a fucking blazing beacon. and the truth of the TWC is blinding.


Anonymous said...

Fucking excellent post. That is all.

SUEB0B said...

I linked you over at Linkateria:

Anonymous said...

Dawn - although I agree with most of what you said (along with the other women that have expressed their opinions), from my point of view, I saw TWC as an unfortunate sadness. Great that these wives have a place for cathartic expression, but then what do they do about it? Why continue to be married to the lazy video gamer, the man who can't find the laundry hamper etc., or why be a golf/hockey/basketball widow? Why not stand up for yourself and do something about it? The first step is to reconize there's a problem - the step after that, is up to you.

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