What my Anger at Men is Really Hiding

Photo by Les Anderson on Unsplash — When searching for “anger” in Unsplash, 50 photos populated. Some pictures were of men being angry, some of anger filled sports like football and boxing (?), some of angry animals. This was the most anger a woman appearing person showed. My other “women feeling anger” options are below. It’s a dim selection. I’m laughing at the hilarity of it and I hope you do too.
Photo by @Matthew_T_Rader on Unsplash

First read the description of the main photo above. I could have also chosen this photo. Ugh! The damn chain link fence is making me so sad and angry!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Or I could have chosen this one. Because of course, dyed hair and a cool expression (note: no smile) while I watch the gay pride festival is totally an expression of anger. But it’s the collar with gem studded stars on it that really says I’m a social deviant working with anger issues.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Even better yet, I really should have chosen this one. Because yes, I express my anger by thinking as I take a pleasant walk through a light filled meadow without a sweater on.

Gosh darnit are these really all my options? Perhaps we should start a campaign, taking photos of real women expressing ALL the feels.

There is this anger and hurt that I am prodding with my cane, I can feel the tendrils, I can’t see it all, but I can definitely tell there’s a mass, just sitting on, blocking, and smothering some Stuff (yes, stuff with a capital S). It’s mass indicates that it’s not going to move, it is there to stay, at least for a while.

What is it covering? Love for men. A great relationship with a man. Happiness with a man. Love, friendship, and prolonged sexual bliss with a man (that lasts more than a week).

What that mass is, is anger toward men. But really, if I take a good look at it, it’s anger at myself and hurt, and shame — that I’ve lived for so long wanting a man’s approval and settling for any man who likes me because I didn’t think I could get anything better. Letting my brother, dad, man-friends, man-teacher, boyfriend, or boss call the shots without questioning it. It’s not about one particular man; it’s about men in general. And it’s anger at myself for letting all this happen.

I was not connected to what I wanted- I have been so focused on seeking their approval, because THEY hold the power. And on the flip coin of that, believing that women don’t have as much power as men, let alone that I have as much power as a man.

Why do they (the all powerful “they”) hold power? Other than societal beliefs and constraints about men being the power holders and shot callers, I’m not so sure about why I in particular have held this belief. I can imagine that this was something concocted by my pee wee brain, a belief that set in and set it’s course guiding me on my way when I was 5.

It doesn’t so much matter why it’s there, I don’t think. But it does matter that it is there, and I’m kind of sick and tired of it being there. I would like to be free of it.

And the only way I think I will be free of it is if I do some work on it, write about it, talk about it, and try new things. Because if I shine light on this deep dark big mass inside of me, eventually the sun will eat away at it. It can’t exist in the light when it’s talked about (I think Brene Brown talks about shame that way — shame can’t exist when it’s talked about).

I’ve been doing that — talking about it, examining it, writing about it, although this is my first piece I’ve published on it. But I think it’s high time.

After a period of swearing off men in my life (ya know except my dad, cousin, brother, and boss and those I would rather not stop interacting with), I think I finally have enough distance to look at it, observe it.

When you’re in the trees, it’s hard to see the forest.

I’ve not been in a relationship with a man for 9 months now, the longest since I started dating at the age of 19 (who thought I would be a serial monogamist?). I jumped from man to man — in retrospect it didn’t really matter who the man was (that felt awful to say). I’ve dated older and younger, bigger and smaller, darker and lighter.

But I realized I’ve been in relationships, for the sake of being with someone, whether there were feelings or not, someone else liked me and was interested in me and thought I was cool — and that right there was addicting. I craved that.

So no, it didn’t really matter how much I liked them or thought I loved them, all that mattered was that they liked me. That’s what lay at the crux of it.

Mostly unconsciously and sometimes consciously I would do things to keep making them like me as a false pretense under that “I care about people” and like to help people and do things for them. Which are all valid and great, but I’m saying for myself, they just weren’t authentic.

But you see I didn’t realize at the time that what I was doing wasn’t authentic to me. I thought it was. And that’s the hilarity.

I think what I’d like to do now is apologize to all the men I was in a relationship with because no matter how much I cared about them, it was all on top of this deep mass of needing to please because they had the power and I didn’t. And so I wasn’t a real partner, I did what they wanted to do and I wasn’t being a full real human being, a person.

And yeah there was a reason they were in a relationship with me — a person who wasn’t a full human being with needs and wants — that’s what they were seeking at the time too apparently

So it always takes two to tango you see. But I’m starting to see my part in it.

Editors note: I won’t publish this unless I do it now. See that’s my MO. I write and I do an edit, then I have to go to work, and when I get home, I’m exhausted. The next day my mind has moved on to a different topic and doesn’t want to edit the piece I worked on yesterday. So I’m sorry if the errors and run-ons have distracted you from what I was trying to get at –the core of this piece. But if you don’t like it, I bet you already moved to the next article, so to those of you, who stayed, thanks for reading this.



An anxious girl’s mindful way through love, sex, and life.

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