Book Review: Rage Becomes Her

Soraya Chemaly’s Rage Becomes Her is one of three powerful books on women’s anger published in 2018.

Eloquent Rage (Brittney Cooper) and Good and Mad (Rebecca Traister) are the others. These feminist triplets have a lot to say about the quantity and quality of fury.

In 10 chapters, Chemaly picks apart the causes and consequences of women’s anger. Among the roots are grievances common (objectification and agency in ‘Women ≠ Toasters’, health and image in ‘Angry Bodies’) and extreme (fear and safety in ‘Smile, Baby’).

Beyond the reasons for rage, Chemaly’s focus is the repercussions. Specifically, what effect does repressing anger have on generations of people? This ‘rage shame’ – the idea that women are socialised to stifle their anger – has emotional, psychological and social ramifications that researchers are just beginning to unpack.

In 300 pages, Chemaly (who is a guest of Adelaide Writers’ Week 2019) maps anger – its origins and destinations. She aims to make you angry, then asks you to make something out of that anger.

Author: Soraya Chemaly
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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