January 22, 2019

Review: Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger by Rebecca Traister
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is similar to another book I read last year, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger, by Soraya Chemaly. (Review here.) I also gave that one five stars. I think this book has the edge, because Rebecca Traister is the better writer. But the subject and the treatment thereof is similar: the explosion of women's rage after the election of the pussy-grabber in the Oval Office.

(And this book definitely has the better cover. On its face, it's plain red and white, but hold it at a certain angle and you see the entire front cover is plastered with transparent F*CKs, over and over.)

In this book, Traister lays out the basis for womens' anger serving as the basis for revolutionary societal change, from Abigail Adams through Shirley Chisholm and Andrea Dworkin and Black Lives Matter till now. She discusses the concept of intersectionality, the ways various oppressions meet and intersect with each other, at great length, and calls out white women in the history of feminism for not supporting their sisters of color, which she describes as the backbone of most revolutionary movements. She also discusses the season of #metoo, the hashtag of sexual harassment and the volcanic explosion of rage in 2017 as women told their stories, bringing down many powerful men. The final section, "The Exhilaration of Activism," tells how women have taken their anger and transformed it into action, from civil disobedience to radical art to thousands of women signing up to run for office, many of whom had never considered doing so before. (This book ends before the 2018 midterms, when many of those same women flipped dozens of legislative seats nationwide, including 40 seats in the House of Representatives.)

It's a fascinating, well-researched book, and it, together with Soraya Chemaly's, do a wonderful job of tapping into the current cultural zeitgeist. These two authors are the perfect chroniclers of what's happening, and I hope they continue.

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