Adaptation: How Anger Turns Girls Into Chameleons By Cheryl Van Daalen Smith

1637 words - 7 pages

In the article Adaptation: How Anger Turns Girls into Chameleons, the author Cheryl Van Daalen-Smith discusses the tendency for young women to bottle up a lot of their anger causing them to experience increased levels of stress, shame and depression and often internalizing the anger and directing it towards themselves. As a school nurse for 12 years, the author states that many young women were resulting to anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs in order to cope with their feelings instead of expressing them. She proceeds to connect girls’ anger to a societal tendency to silence, dismiss and deny the fact that females can and should have feelings of anger or aggression. She states that because of the societal pressures on females to be the ‘perfect girl’, women learn that they cannot get angry because it is un-ladylike and it creates isolation and criticism. This has caused many young women to turn to drugs, eating disorders and even self-mutilation. She states that we need to veer away from associating anger with hostility and aggression and need to focus more on the reasons for girls’ anger. She describes how many girls try to resist the notions of femininity prescribed by society, but end up giving up and either in depression or living lives that they have adapted to fit the expectations put on them while leading a fake life. The article also describes how many girls fear loving significant others or ruining relationships if they express too many emotions of anger. They therefore end up bottling up those emotions in order to save their relationship. The issue in this article which demonstrates gender inequality is the effects that society’s expectations have put on women to suppress their anger. This demonstrates gender inequality because men are taught that anger and aggression are expected emotions for them, however women are taught that in order for them to fit into the description of the ‘perfect women’ they need to restrain from showing emotions of anger and aggression as it is not ladylike. Different feminist theories will view the issue of emotional suppression differently. In this essay, I will discuss how liberal feminist deconstruct the issue and what strategies they would use to tackle it. I will also discuss how diversity issues impact this specific problem as well as compare the views of radical feminism on the issue.Liberal feminism is an individualistic form of feminist theory, which focuses on women’s ability to show and maintain their equality through their own actions and choices. Liberal feminism looks at the personal interactions of men and women as the starting ground from which to transform society into a more gender-equitable place. Therefore, Liberal Feminist theory would look at the issue of girls’ anger suppression in a way that would put the interactions of males and females within society as a reason of the anger to begin with. It would state that due to the notions of...

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