I am mad. So very mad. No, that doesn’t begin to describe it. I am pissed. I am angry. I am irate. I am incensed. I am outraged. I am enraged. I am livid. I am GODDESS DAMN FURIOUS.
“All men are created equal,” states the Declaration of Independence. From the very beginning, women were denied equality in this country. It has taken over two centuries for women to win the right to vote, to have alleged protection under the law, to earn as much as 68 and 77 cents on the dollar (depending on our skin color) that men are paid, and to gain control over our own bodies and destinies.
And now, nearly 250 years later, we are seeing our rights, our freedoms, our health care being stripped away, one by one, by mean spirited, misogynistic, right wing religious uber-conservatives. In 2015 there is still no Equal Rights Amendment. Women are still not equal under the law.
Of course I am angry! How can I not be? I am not angry only about the injustice perpetrated upon women in this country, but also all the women everywhere in the world who are abused, exploited, enslaved, brutalized and murdered – untold thousands as newborns – simply because they are female. Better believe I am angry. Aren’t you?
My anger is far-reaching and inclusive. Every virulent expression – be it verbal, physical, cultural, political, or armed – of religious hatred, xenophobia, racism, classism, ageism, homophobia sets my teeth on edge. As does witnessing shockingly common displays that range from disregard to disrespect to downright mean, nasty disdain directed at folks with abundant body fat or those who are differently abled.
Every fracking pipeline, oil spill, contaminated river, felled forest, wild fire, melting iceberg, radiation leak, gmo apple, dead bee, poached animal, endangered species, and cancer patient, stirs my wrath. Every hungry, homeless, terrified, traumatized refugee and GI incites my furious, protective tiger mother ire.
My partner often questions why I watch the news if it makes me so mad. Because it is important for me to know what is going on around me. I do not want to be deaf and blind to ignorance or violence, even if the shrill blare and horrendous images are painful. I want to feel that pain, to feel part of that pain. I want to accept any culpability on my part for perpetuating pain and peril through disregard, denial, laziness or depression. Depression is the flip side of anger.
“Anger is energizing. The opposite of anger is depression, which is anger turned inward.”
– Gloria Steinem
Women are uncomfortable with anger. We are frightened of anger directed at us for very real reasons. But we are most scared of our own anger. We have been raised to be good girls, after all. To be sugar and spice and everything nice. Yeah, right.
Anger is a natural emotion and needs to be honored and expressed, lest it eat us up from the inside. Anger contains a huge amount of energy, which can be converted to powerful creativity, positive purpose, and proactive change.
I think of my anger as righteous indignation. It spurs me to react, to respond, to resist, to rebel. My fury is the fuel that fires my fiercely impassioned efforts toward the defense of Mother Earth and all of Her exquisite creations and creatures.
Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but women standing together side by side, autonomous, proud, and empowered can create heaven on Earth!
“There will be no heaven unless we make it.”
– Florence Nightingale
Donna Henes, Urban Shaman, has been a contemporary ceremonialist for 40 years. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately known, is the award-winning author of The Queen of My Self, The Moon Watcher’s Companion, Celestially Auspicious Occasions: Seasons, Cycles, and Celebrations, Dressing Our Wounds In Warm Clothes andMoon Watcher’s Companion, as well as the CD, Reverence To Her: Mythology, the Matriarchy, & Me. She is also a columnist for The Huffington Post, UPI Religion and Spirituality Forum, and Beliefnet. In addition to teaching and lecturing worldwide, she maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, New York, Mama Donna’s Tea Garden And Healing Haven, where she offers intuitive tarot readings and spiritual counseling, and works with individuals and groups to create personally relevant rituals for all of life’s transitions. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.