I recently had a situation where I was absolutely livid.

Did I process it on my own by meditating and journaling? I wish I could say that was the case, but unfortunately it wasn't. On the other hand, anger seems to be the only emotion that is encouraged to process on one’s own and not with others, while it is one of the hardest emotions to keep inside.

This incident did get me wanting to learn how to more effectively express anger, especially as a woman.We’ve learned since a very young age that good girls don’t get mad. But then what do good girls do when they feel this extremely difficult emotion? And why is it that male leaders show anger then are called assertive and when women leaders do so they get a bad rep?

I wanted to see how our women artists express anger. To my surprise (but I guess I should have known, reflecting from my own experience) out of over 1,500 artworks, there was not even one artwork from a woman artist that was depicting anger.

Anger is a natural human emotion but studies also show that it is a secondary emotion - meaning it’s an expression of other underlying emotions. I did encounter artworks that expressed some of these implicit emotions.

Frustration is the feeling of being annoyed or upset from the inability to change or achieve something. Ileana Rincon-Cañas somehow created the juxtaposition of hopeless existence of living the motions of a purposeless existence and that same person finding a meaning to break this loop.

Ilenana Rincón-Cañas. Breaking the lopp

Ignored is when one feels disregarded, oftentimes intentionally. Many of Angela Scavo’s pieces show a woman covering her face combined with her sad eyes - this one hit home for me. Don’t we all feel invisible sometimes?

Ángela Scavo. Still Me

We feel anxious when we experience worry or nervousness, typically about something with an uncertain outcome. The title “Cubreme (cover me)” of this piece by Nathalye Gonzalez expresses exactly how I feel when I get anxious - I want to cover myself and hangout with a comforting presence.

Nathalye González. Cúbreme

Disappointment is sadness caused by the nonfulfillment of one's hopes or expectations. Martha Bravo’s digitally created artwork shows a woman in despair but also wearing a bright red dress and has butterflies, one sitting on her and one pinned to her. Does this show her hopeful side and disappointed moment all at once?

Martha Bravo. Disappointment
Reviewing this, I see that the common factor of all of these emotions - and artworks - is sadness. Then is that what anger is made out of? Accumulated sadness? Still though, sadness and anger feels very different in the moment. That's why I’m still left with this very big and pertinent question - how do women express anger effectively and get what they want? How can a woman do that and be accepted and respected? Any advice, anyone?

Written by Su Hyum Kim,

 Arte Original.

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