Our new theme is a clear one: RAGE

We had a pretty good election night yesterday, but I don’t want anyone to forget what should be driving you right now, and that is a righteous anger. Read Katha Pollitt about her reaction to the past year.

But the main difference is that I hate people now. Well, not all people, of course. Just people who voted for Trump. People who do their own “research” on the Internet and discover there that President Obama is a Muslim and Michelle Obama is a man. People who use the n-word and can’t even spell it right, because—have you noticed?—Trump supporters can’t spell. Well-off people who only care about lowering their taxes. People who said they couldn’t vote for Hillary because of her emails. Excuse me, sir or madam, can you explain to me what an email server even is? People who didn’t believe Trump would bring back coal or build the wall or Make America Great Again, but just wanted to blow things up. Congratulations! We are all living in the minefield you have made.

I know what you’re thinking: you are the problem, Katha, alienating Trump voters with your snobbish liberal elitism and addiction to “identity politics.” Yes, I wanted them to have health care and child care and good schools and affordable college and real sex education and access to abortion and a much higher minimum wage. And yes, I wanted the wealthy to pay more taxes to provide for it all. Obviously, this offended the pride of the stalwart, mostly white citizens of Trumplandia, possibly because a good proportion of white people would rather not have something if black people get to have it, too. As for pussy-grabbing, sheesh! Men will be men, get over yourselves, ladies. None of that is “identity politics,” though. It is just America.

You know exactly how the defenders of the status quo will respond: sit down, be nice and polite, you might annoy the regressives/alt-right, and their anger will be more defensible than yours. We’re already composing our excuses for them that will consist of blaming you.

Lindy West is also rather angry.

Just this week, Juli Briskman, a government contractor, lost her job after a photo of her flipping off the presidential motorcade went viral. Solange, Britney Spears, Sinead O’Connor, the Dixie Chicks, Rosie O’Donnell — I struggle to think of women who lost their tempers in public and didn’t face ridicule, temporary ruin, or both. And we don’t even have to be angry to be called angry. Accusations of being an “angry black woman” chased Michelle Obama throughout her tenure at the White House, despite eight years of unflappable poise (black women suffer disproportionately under this paradigm). The decades-long smearing of Hillary Clinton as an unhinged shrew culminated one year ago today when, despite maintaining a preternatural calm throughout the most brutal campaign in living memory, she lost the election to masculinity’s apoplectic id.

Like every other feminist with a public platform, I am perpetually cast as a disapproving scold. But what’s the alternative? To approve? I do not approve.

Not only are women expected to weather sexual violence, intimate partner violence, workplace discrimination, institutional subordination, the expectation of free domestic labor, the blame for our own victimization, and all the subtler, invisible cuts that undermine us daily, we are not even allowed to be angry about it.

Ah, yes. Have you ever noticed how Social Justice Warriors in general get chastised for being “disapproving scolds”? How dare we publicly criticize Nazis and misogynists, as if we think we’re better than them! Defending people who want to murder and deport people, or want the right to batter their wives, is better virtue signaling, because the anti-SJWs are so noble that they defend the free speech rights of woman-hating skinheads.

That rage will be used to excuse assault. Take the case of Aisha Walker, a woman who saw a drunk man accosting another young woman, and she chose to stand between them, a brave act. But then another man, a bystander, came to the aid…of the drunk.

A third passenger got involved, Walker wrote, telling her and the other man that they were both being stupid. When she asked him why it was stupid to stand up for a woman being harassed, he became angry.

The bystander began swearing and shouting that he would be happy to “step off the bus” to deal with her.

Walker said when she asked what that would prove, the man punched her “directly in the mouth at full force.”

He broke many of her teeth, requiring a lot of dental work. But he made his point: anger at oppression is a greater crime to these people than the oppression itself. Moral clarity is an affront to people who want the liberty to be selfish.


  1. Curious Digressions says

    I’m so very angry and disgusted. I’m also cynically pleased that so many “good people” are showing their true colors. In the ’80’s nazis were cartoon and action movie villains. Now, people who seem like decent neighbors post of the internets about how “rainbow warriors” and BLM activists should hug it out with people wearing swastikas. [sparkle] I wish for a world where we all tolerate each other! [/sparkle] No. Full stop. Good, decent people don’t tolerate that crap.

  2. Larry says

    My reaction to Katha’s comments: ditto. ditto. ditto. A million times, ditto.

    Even with the previous elections of Reagan and Bush the lesser, I haven’t felt the rage and, yes, hatred, for those that voted for this orange shit stick and gave us a congress dedicated to destroying everything that made this country great so that they can stuff more money into the pockets of those who don’t need it. And why, because they’re racist assholes who couldn’t get past having an elegant, intelligent, and thoughtful man in the White House.

    Carry on, people!

  3. robro says

    Pollitt’s piece has gotten a lot of shares from friends in my FB feed. She definitely hit a chord. The version I read was accompanied by the picture of the woman bicyclist flipping off the Trump motorcade. I understand that woman got fired for expressing her opinion*. More reason to be angry. (Grits teeth. Goes back to work.)

    * Question: Was she flipping off Trump or was she flipping off motorists, because I suspect there’s a lot of that.

  4. says

    It’s weird how it’s only the left who are supposed to stop being angry and not call people names (like “racist”). This chastising usually comes from the center, but you never see them telling the right to stop raging and calling people “libtards”.

  5. Pablo Campos says

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m really pissed off at Trumpers and conservatives in general. Before the election, I was rather apolitical (but still considered myself a Democrat) but when Trump won I became much more political and liberal. I just hope this country doesn’t fall apart before Trump is impeached or in jail.

  6. busterggi says

    “alienating Trump voters with your snobbish liberal elitism ”

    And that brings up something that’s been bothering me for a while. Trump ran as a ‘populist’ who was against unfair taxation, promised great cheap healthcare, was going to tax the rich more because they were selfish and the working people needed the money more.

    Yet when a Democrat runs on those same planks they aren’t called a ‘populist’, they’re called ‘class warriors’ and the Trumpettes hate them. Can anyone explain this to me?

  7. says

    @7 – Maybe because, when they get elected, they turn out to instead be members of the “leadership” who get there real ideas from the Republican Lite think tank that says, “Compromise with the right is necessary, and we need to give ground on everything from school funding to taxes, to get things done!”? Just a thought.

    Apparently we like our politics like we like our beer – weak, and tasting of elephant piss (though its usually labeled “horse”, or should that be “mule”?). I keep thinking that Lincoln was right, the national bird should have been a turkey – something that, when taken from its normal environment, is so stupid it will stare at the sky, going, “Where is all the water coming from?!”, and drown.

    Basically, it was the same con both sides keep pulling, just.. no one, not even his supporters, thought Trump was actually a Republican, so they, I suspect, thought they would get “reform” from him, not even more, and vastly worse of, “The same, over and over again.”

  8. says

    Don’t confuse the wily and nimble wild turkey with the sad, overbred meat plants with brains like softballs. (I hear the looking-up-and-drowning thing is an urban legend anyway, but it’s just such a useful metaphor, like the debunked frog in the pot of water, that I understand why we don’t let it go.)

  9. unclefrogy says

    rage is all well and good for a start but it is not so good long term . Stop and think. first keep the focus on what the goals are what the principles are.
    a lot of people were fooled into seeing what they wanted to see in trump many were motivated by hate and resentment but here we are with the great fool in Asia.
    When I was a kid we had these glasses with a picture and scroll work on it. A wastrel on one side and his opposite on the other in between a scroll “as you wonder on through life brother what ever be your goal keep you eye upon the doughnut and not upon the hole”
    I know the words well enough but have not been able to consistently stay focused very well but I ain’t dead yet!
    uncle frogy

  10. OptimalCynic says

    Rage is fantastic!

    have you noticed?—Trump supporters can’t spell

    Let’s not bring classism into it though.

  11. sundiver says

    Danica Roem’s victory seems to point to a growing acceptance for people once marginalized and that if you hammer on the real issues and not what bible-thumping xenophobes “think” is important you have a decent shot. That and the fact the tRump brand is getting increasingly toxic to anyone with A) a sense of decency and B) two adjacent brain cells.

  12. John Morales says

    Raucous Indignation:

    If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.


    Fine, be perpetually angry. Rage incessantly — because reality doesn’t let up.

    Being annoyed, being frustrated, being upset — too little. Rage!

    (Yes, I know. One can be angry yet analytical (not so sure rage and analysis go together though), and one can be angry yet controlled. But being perpetually angry is kinda hard)