anger

i just realized that i haven’t mentioned hugo schwyzer’s blog in ages! well, it’s about time to see what he has to say.

hugo is one of my blogging heroes. his posts are always interesting, insightful, well-balanced, well-thought-out.

and i love how he is not afraid to jump with both feet into the battle between some of the more forceful representatives of feminism on the one hand and the men’s movement on the other. splash! i have this image of him bouncing around, with a happy/mischievous grin, like a little kid in a big puddle …

his most recent entry is about righteous anger. righteous (rightful?) anger has an important place. anger is an emotion full of energy which, when lived out the right (righteous? rightful?) way can be incredibly productive (as, for example, stated in a book i just bought, the anger advantage, about women’s experience with anger).

an interesting twist is that hugo is a (progressive) christian. this brings a useful element into the discussion, in my opinion. most of what we have been taught about anger in school and from our parents is strongly influenced by judeo-christian beliefs about anger and forgiveness.

here are a few excerpts from hugo’s post.

… telling everyone to “tone things down” and “not be so angry” is often the tactic employed by the privileged who fail to understand what there is [so much to be] angry about.

… there is a strong hostility to those who preach a message of “gentleness, meekness, and charity” (presumed Christian values.) The MRAs [men’s rights advocates] … talk incessantly about the need to “awaken men from their stupor”, and the importance of “getting angry!”

Anger is the fuel on which most movements for social change run …

and

Righteous anger — anger directed at injustice — has its place. But the Christian also has, I am convinced, a special obligation to express his or her anger with the minimum amount of venom and hate. We’ve got to distinguish between individuals and the causes they represent.

I can hate porn, and at the same time, do everything I can to establish friendly common ground with the pornographer. I can be enraged at those who deny the reality that it is women who are the primary victims of domestic violence, but I must work to separate my anger at their views from my anger at them as human beings. They are still my brothers, whether they consider themselves to be so or not.

The Christian obligation is to recognize that anger at institutions and policies and ideas and behaviors is acceptable — but anger at other human beings (even if they seem to manifest all that we loathe) isn’t. In the heat of battle it’s a heck of distinction to make, but it’s a mandatory one.

read here for the whole article.

isabella mori
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