Good and mad : the revolutionary power of women's anger

by Rebecca Traister

Paper Book, 2018


Checked out


New York : Simon & Schuster, 2018.

User reviews

LibraryThing member rosalita
Wow, this was exactly what I needed to read right now. Using the political nightmare we're all living through right now as her launching point, Traister traces all the ways that women's righteous anger at their status has been systematically diminished, derided and degraded by those who are unwilling to share power — yep, I'm afraid white men don't fare well here. It was striking to me how Traister clearly takes no pleasure in pointing out the ways that even men who believe they are allies undermine the work women are doing, which makes the indictment all the more powerful.

The examples and situations of women's anger being dismissed or turned against them, both historical and contemporary, are as infuriating as they are endless, but she also recounts times when women have persisted and used their anger to effect real social change. It's powerful stuff. I appreciated how Traister didn't shy away from discussing the ways that the righteous anger of women has been undermined by other women, and the frustration and resentment felt by women of color, who have often been vocally agitating on particular issues long before they are "discovered" by white women. There were a number of times that I felt uncomfortable and had to examine some of my own assumptions and behaviors, recognizing that despite my best efforts I have sometimes been complicit in such "whitewashing" and erasure of the important work done by black women.

This book is "hot off the presses," so to speak, covering events that happened as recently as this past spring and summer. Even so, as I was reading it in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the recent election, I wished I could have read what Traister thought about the historic numbers of women who were elected to both federal, state and local offices this week, and the racial and cultural diversity that they represent.

The book closes with Traister cautioning that while the fury women felt following the 2016 election has compelled many of them to become politically active for the first time, that level of commitment and action will need to be sustained for a long time if the goal of a better society is to be met. It's a marathon, not a sprint, but there may be no one better to run it than all the "moms in tennis shoes" who are learning how not to use their indoor voices.
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LibraryThing member rivkat
If you want to feel better about being angry so much of the time, to hear about women who used their anger to improve the world, and basically to hear a counternarrative about how anger isn’t actually what’s toxic when the anger is generated by abuse and unfairness, this is the book for you. I cried a couple of times, but in relief as well as in sadness.… (more)
LibraryThing member caanderson
Great book. This book dives into all the revolutions that women have started and the changes for the better. Very well written, I enjoyed reading about my anger and the anger in all women.


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