March 2024 Newsletter: Unleashing Feminine Rage

Unleashing Feminine Rage

“A society that does not respect women’s anger is one that does not respect women; not as human beings, thinkers, knowers, active participants, or citizens.”

~ Soraya Chemaly, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger

Rage.

It courses through me as I read of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are “children,” thus leading healthcare providers to suspend IVF treatments.

As I see the images of thousands of Palestinian women and children displaced, maimed, and killed in Gaza and our own nation’s leaders refusing to call for an immediate ceasefire.

As I listen to my students, colleagues, friends, and family members consistently share similar tales of being diminished, harassed, threatened, overlooked, bullied, and victimized.

The rage is often quickly buried under a wall of despair or exhaustion, thus dampening its power. We are conditioned to suppress our rage, to hide it behind a curtain of acceptance, adaptation, or fatigue. When other women or I say “I’m tired” what we mean is, “I’m exhausted from having to constantly restrain or hide my fury.”

This is even more so the case for women representing intersectional identities. In particular, Black women’s expression of anger has often been targeted to tamp down the voices of those who have experienced the most egregious acts of violence and oppression. In her book Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, Brittany Cooper writes, “The truth is that Angry Black Women are looked upon as entities to be contained, as inconvenient citizens who keep on talking about their rights while refusing to do their duty and smile at everyone.”

Yet it is through the expression of rage that women can build collective power and momentum to challenge the systems of injustice that surround us. In Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, Rebecca Traister says, “Perhaps the reason that women’s anger is so broadly denigrated–treated as so ugly, so alienating, and so irrational–is because we have known all along that with it came the explosive power to upturn the very systems that have sought to contain it.”

For women’s anger to be effective in upturning systems of inequity and injustice, we need to be able to center our energies around our own well-being, and we need active allyship from those in positions of status in our society. Men need to be allies for all women, White women need to be allies for women of color, cisgender and heterosexual women need to be allies for LGBTQ+ identities. 

This month’s newsletter provides resources for centering the voices of women and femme-identifying individuals from historically marginalized groups and engaging in strategic allyship to activate systemic change.

Maria Morukian
Maria Morukian
Founder and President

MSM Global Updates

Explore practical strategies and transformative insights in this LinkedIn Live conversation between Maria Morukian and Dr. Jonathan Ashong-Lamptey, CEO of The Element of Inclusion. Gain actionable takeaways and high-impact ideas for immediate implementation. It’s not just about reading—it’s about taking action. Listen now!

Join Maria on March 23rd for WOA-DMV’s “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” High Tea Brunch at The Hotel at The University of Maryland. Maria will be featured alongside Brandi Bynum, Unit Chief fir the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking and Latara Harris, CEO of Crittendon and We Empower Women Inc. Proceeds from this event provide support to new moms at the Johns Hopkins Howard County Medical Center. Get your tickets now!

Culture Stew

February 14th Episode: Unraveling Identity with Diana Cutaia
Join hosts Maria Morukian and Roger Moreano on Culture Stew as they chat with Diana Cutaia about identity, societal norms, and peace-building. Diana shares her journey navigating personal and cultural messages to define her true self. Discover how she challenges gender norms and redefines success through Coaching Peace. (Remember to write a review on your favorite podcast platforms.)

February 28th Episode: Navigating Social Justice with Scott Tharp
Tune in to Culture Stew as Maria and Roger discuss identity and education with Scott Tharp. Hear Scott’s insights on social justice, education, and activism, and how his upbringing shaped his commitment to positive change. Explore the political landscape of education and the dynamic process of social justice with Scott Tharp.

MSM Global Gallery 

We often hear issues of gender inequity and gender violence referred to as “women’s issues.” However, this is problematic. While gender discrimination and sexual assault overwhelmingly target women and nonbinary people, they are most frequently perpetrated by men. That makes this a men’s issue.

Here are two pieces, an article from Mark Greene from early 2024, and a classic TED Talk from Jackson Katz in 2012, which challenge men to step up, resist the toxicity of “the bro code,” and act to end violence and discrimination against women. Allyship with women, nonbinary folks, LGBTQIA+ communities, People of Color, etc. is needed now more than ever. True allyship requires deep listening followed by concrete action.


Content For Your Down Time

Here are some recommended videos, articles and books for your down time.

Female Rage: 30 Films That Accurately Portray A Woman’s Anger.”

The article highlights the importance of depicting female rage in cinema and acknowledges the challenges faced by women in the film industry, in terms of underrepresentation and unequal pay. In fact, recent research shows that the number of women employed in major films (e.g. directors, producers, editors, cinematographers) has barely changed since the 1990s and is hanging at only 22% and has actually declined in the last year. Similarly, the percentage of women in speaking roles (35%) and the number of films with female protagonists (28%) have also declined from 2022 to 2023. Not only does this diminish the overall representation of women in the film industry, it also often drastically narrows the portrayal of women and the range of their emotions and experiences. 

The article explores the effect of this lack of representation of female rage in mainstream media and provides a list of 30 films suggested by internet users that accurately portray female anger. Some notable films mentioned include “Hidden Figures,” “Aliens,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Thelma and Louise,” “The Help,” “Girl, Interrupted,” “Gone Girl,” “Promising Young Woman,” and “Ladybird.”

Unlocking the Power of Female Rage in Art

There is a long and rich history of female rage in art. In this captivating article from Ariela Gittlen, published in partnership with Artsy, delve into Renaissance and Baroque paintings depicting fierce women like “Judith Beheading Holofernes” and “Timoclea Killing Her Rapist.”  These images have long been seen as symbols of women’s resilience and defiance in the face of injustice.
The article explores how women throughout history have not only used their own art as a means of social commentary but have also championed other women artists to amplify women’s voices and challenge societal norms.

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