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Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger
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Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  805 ratings  ·  178 reviews
A transformative book urging twenty-first century-women to embrace their anger and harness it as a tool for lasting personal and societal change.

Women are angry, and it isn’t hard to figure out why.

We are underpaid and overworked. Too sensitive, or not sensitive enough. Too dowdy or too made-up. Too big or too thin. Sluts or prudes. We are harassed, told we are asking for
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Atria Books
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In Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger, author Soraya Chemaly explores and confronts the gendering of emotions, in this case the gender ideas of anger. Social norms teach us that anger expressed by females is undesirable, uncomfortable, and certainly not feminine, unlike with males where it is accepted because of its normalized tie to masculinity. She discusses how this suppression of anger harms women physically, emotionally, professionally and politically, and how the world would bene ...more
Dec 16, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Really loved the thesis of this book, that women's anger is a powerful force for change in response to sexism and discrimination. Soraya Chemaly is intersectional and all-encompassing in Rage Becomes Her, as she interweaves the experiences of women of color and lampoons the sexism that occurs in the workplace, in online communities, in families, and more. She discusses several important topics that parallel the power of women's anger, such as how women are expected to do so much more em
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most powerful books I've read this year, Rage Becomes Her gives voice to the causes, expressions, and possibilities of female rage. I will do a full video review on my YouTube channel Beautifully Bookish Bethany, but I cannot recommend this book enough. It says the things that have long needed saying. It also strikes the perfect note between anecdotes and hard research, making it very readable. This will make you reconsider everything.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Can you read about a book about rage without becoming angry? I certainly could not. Chemaly brings up many relatable experiences and topics: the role of women as selfless caretakers, fear of being publically harassed and shamed, women in politics, benevolent sexism, the #MeToo movement, Hollywood, and general injustices against women.

Clearly, the main topic revolves around anger. Women are taught to suppress their anger because to express it would be unladylike and against gender norms. Instead
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I am glad I read this book, but I didn't love it. It's not really a contemplation of anger that provides new insight or analysis. It's sort of a hodgepodge of feminist critique--all of the micro and macro ways in which women are harassed, discriminated against, and devalued. If you're a woman who has been paying attention to these trends, you likely know all of this stuff. Still, it's a thorough and sad catalogue of sexism. There wasn't much to learn from. If you are already mad about the state ...more
Andrea McDowell
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read Eloquent Rage, Rage Becomes Her, and Good and Mad sequentially over about a week, and I highly recommend doing so. They're very complementary. Rage Becomes Her is a sociological book with an incredible amount of research on everything that is making women angry and why that's not a problem; Good and Mad is a narrative journalistic account of the many times in history and the present day that women's anger has changed society for the better; Eloquent Rage is a memoir and account of feminis ...more
Trista Hendren
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been following Soraya's writing for many years, so I expected this book to be amazing—but it surpassed my wildest expectations. Rage Becomes Her will make you cry—and make you angry—but it will also leave you hopeful and filled with the energy necessary to create change. Astoundingly Good!
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“There is not a woman alive who does not understand that women’s anger is openly reviled.”

Honestly, Chemaly doesn’t state anything woman today aren’t at least vaguely familiar with. How many of us were told it is not good to express anger because it’s unbecoming of a lady? My friend's would describe me as sassy, which I chose to take as a compliment, and I'm sure some men I've come across would call me a 'fiesty Latina' trying to be flirty. (I think it goes without saying that those men did no
Tonstant Weader
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rage Becomes Her is at once the worst and best book to have started in the midst of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation. I was already enraged and this book has so much more to make me angry, but it also puts it into context. Of course, the best thing Soraya Chemaly does with Rage Becomes Her is encouraging us to see our anger as healthy.

Chemaly begins by reclaiming anger. Women are supposed to be sad, not angry. We are not supposed to have the power of anger. Anger is a demand, sorrow is acceptanc
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
---- Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ----

After thinking on it & reading the other reviews I honestly don't think I have anything else to add. It's a great book long overdue in existing. I try to stay well-versed in most of the kinds of information that was discussed in here, but even so I still learned new things, & spent some time mulling over the content. Having not been previously unfamiliar with this subject matter, I must admit that having it all in one p

Terena Bell
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book doesn't know what it wants to be. In the ARC, it's marketed, titled, and introed as an exploration into women's anger -- how the emotion manifests differently in women than in men, how women handle (suppress?) it, the effect it has on women's bodies. And in the beginning, it is, and this part of the book is fantastic. But then the narrative shifts with each new chapter an exploration into something unrelatedly different: a tirade about women not being paid as much, hodge-podge generali ...more
Rachel Polacek
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is transformative. I am now constantly thinking about how I present myself and consider my emotional response. I have also been forced to do some reflection on what I consider my normal, quiet nature — how much of it is from my own innate personality, and how much is learned? There is a lot to think about here, and I am glad I get to discuss it with some strong women!
Esther Espeland
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
a fitting start to 2019! Very timely read if you want a neat articulation of what the ladies are up against these days. More about disparities that should make women angry than anger itself. Was really impressed with how intersectional this was! Freaking finally! Race was always woven in, (book was written by a woman of color) and trans women, non binary ppl and other LGBTQ folks got their air time! Also lmao how I was sexually harassed on the train while reading the chapter on sexual harassment
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full review soon! What a great book to finish as we enter 2019!
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know what to say about this book. It is so good. I wanted to start it again as soon as I finished it. Given how angry I am at the world these days, it feels so great to have someone else put your frustrations into words so succinctly and clearly.
Rita Shaffer
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Important book! I am so glad that I read this - I will think differently about how I present myself. And constantly work to support the strong, smart women around me.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Compared to That's What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) about Working Together that I read earlier this year, Rage Becomes Her was a harder read for me to swallow. Both books highlight how sexist treatment still prevails in the USA and overlaps with other prejudices. I even stumbled on the same exact sources cited between them, but Chemaly will always note whenever there is a severe lack of medical and psychological studies for women. A good chunk of her sources a ...more
Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)
I won this book for free from Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Goodreads, Atria Books, and Soraya Chemaly. As always, an honest review from me.

Rage Becomes Her might be my book of the year. It's incredibly powerful, poignant and validating for women. I want to share the book with every single woman I know. Actually I need every single person on the planet to read it. No arguments, just reading and learning.

With that being said, here are all the reasons why Rage Becomes Her is a must read book
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Your anger is a gift you give to yourself and the world that is yours. In anger, I have lived more fully, freely, intensely, sensitively, and politically. If ever there was a time not to silence yourself, to channel your anger into healthy places and choices, this is it.

This was a beautiful, much needed insight into women's anger. The author asks: can you read a book about anger without becoming angry yourself? The answer is still no, especially when it's an anger that is directly connected to t
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I feel like this was part of the triptych of anger books that came out this fall, and the one that I got the most out of. I actually highlighted portions of it, so I could share it with some coworkers, because it deals a lot with how we push down and silence our anger in various portions of our lives, and the work portions really spoke to me.

I was also really interested to read the last chapter, where the author gives concrete ways to work with your anger, and let your anger breathe, and be a pa
Alyssa Foll
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am enraged.
There's nothing like growing more and more angry while reading a book on anger. And there is plenty of anger to around.

Soraya Chemaly, in "Rage Becomes Her," convinced me to plunk down cold, hard cash after reading the first few pages. The first chapter sets the rest of the book in motion; Chemaly makes it clear that this is a book about women's anger -- why it exists and how women are taught to express it (or not express it). Chemaly also explores why women have so much to be ang
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a Goodreads win review. This is not my favorite topic. I in general do not like rage and anger. However if a woman can grow and express these feelings correctly and move forward in a good way than I can see the point. But I have seen some people who stay angry forever about one thing or another and they seem to be miserable.
C.M. Arnold
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a really great book on the subject matter of women's anger. That might sound redundant of me to say, obviously that's what it's supposed to be about, but nonfiction can be hit and miss. There have been times where I've been allured by a great title, only to be let down when the content didn't live up to my lofty expectations. Men Explain Things To Me, for example. I feared the deception of a good title and cover. Let me just say, Soraya Chemaly composed a book that is both clearly expres ...more
Ericka Clouther
Lots of salient and interesting essays about feminism.

I had a lot of favorite quotes. This, for example, describes my high school (class of 1997) experience pretty well: "In the classroom, it was almost certainly the case that the women were managing a double bind that we face constantly: conform to traditional gender expectations, stay quiet and be liked, or violate those expectations and risk the penalties, including the penalty of being called puritanical, aggressive, and 'humorless.'" Thoug
Jenna Bookish
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“In my experience, it is difficult for many adults to accept that boys can and should control themselves and meet the same behavioral standards that we expect from girls. It’s even harder to accept that girls feel angry and have legitimate rights not to make themselves cheerfully available as resources for boys’ development.”


Rage Becomes Her is a timely and extensive exploration of women’s anger. Chemaly discusses varying aspects of this topic, from the differences in the expectations we set for
Ryan Mishap
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A sensational and complete State of the Union for women that expertly breaks down all the oppressive shit heaped on women. A call to harness untapped anger for positive change.

This would make a great present for the men in your life and the women who don't think feminism is relevant.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every person should read this. End. Of. Story.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an extraordinary book that I believe will be seen as foundational in identifying, sourcing and explaining women's rage, and for showing purposes and methods for which that rage can be used to help liberate women and girls. I encourage everyone I talk to about books to READ THIS BOOK.
Erin Charpentier
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lot of this was a "duh, no kidding" type of concept for me. I know that women can't get angry or be leaders or be strong without being labeled as bitches. This is nothing new. Yet, I loved some of the research based anecdotes in here. For example, middle aged white women have the lowest self-esteem of any race. This explains why so many white women struggle to vote for female politicians. They don't trust themselves to lead anything, so they don't trust that any woman can do so. In this aspect ...more
Tasha Hilton
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Often times we argue this topic with emotion and "rage" but Soraya provides not only insight about how to channel rage into power, but research that solidifies our feelings. Rage Becomes Her asks "What do we lose, personally and as a society, by not listening to women’s anger or respecting it?" - As we all encounter female influence at some point in our lives, this book will be important for you!
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Goodreads Librari...: Page count correction - Rage Becomes her 5 25 Oct 08, 2018 10:36PM  
Goodreads Authors...: New Nonfiction ARCs available 1 8 Jul 13, 2018 01:10PM  
Soraya Chemaly is an American writer and activist whose work focuses on the role of gender in politics, religion, education, tech, and media. A 2016 Mirror Award Winner, her work appears in a wide range of publications including TIME, The Guardian, The Nation, Huffington Post, Verge, Quartz, The Atlantic and The New Statesman. Chemaly is also involved with multiple anti-violence and media equity o ...more
“We are so busy teaching girls to be likeable that we often forget to teach them, as we do boys, that they should be respected.” 13 likes
“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.” 12 likes
More quotes…