by J.M. Phillippe
Anger, they say, is a secondary emotion. I use this a lot when meeting with clinical clients. I tell them that we need to look beyond their anger, find the source. Only then can they hope to work through their anger, manage it better.
As we continue to celebrate our updated logo here at The Stiletto Gang, I can’t help but think of the significance of the color red — it is a color of passion, danger, excitement — and of course, anger.
Seeing red implies not just any anger, but an all-consuming anger, a dangerous anger, a tightly focused anger. Associated with bull fighting where matadors use red capes to get the bulls to charge, the phrase seeing red is about charging ahead, determined, fierce.
Most of the women I know have been seeing red lately. There is a culture shift happening — or trying to happen — where women are tired of story after story of men getting away with treating women as objects, as something less than human. Women are standing up in almost every industry to call out serial abusers and harassers, and telling their own stories of abuse and shame in order to help other women come forward with #MeToo, and men to understand as the hashtag a few years stated #YesAllWomen.
Women are calling out a culture that allows these abuses to keep happening in order to protect men and boys and their futures, at the expense of the futures of women and girls. We are demanding that people start believing women when they talk about their experiences instead of dismissing, diminishing, or ignoring them.
Anger is powerful, and women collectively finding their own is incredibly powerful. So many women are starting to undo decades of training that tell them to hold in their feelings, hide their pain, and ignore their hurts for the benefit of others. They are learning that our collective anger can be an incredible force for change.
The Stiletto Gang couldn’t have picked a better time to go back to their signature red stiletto, capturing the dangerous power of femininity and anger all in one image. Anger is a secondary emotion, but it is what we are left with when our pain, sorrow, and fear are not being heard. Women need to see red right now, need to charge ahead and make their voices heard. Maybe if the world sees our anger, they’ll finally see all the reasons why we’re so angry — and join us in our push for change.
J.M. Phillippe is the author of the novels and the short stories, and . She has lived in the deserts of California, the suburbs of Seattle, and the mad rush of New York City. She works as a clinical social worker in Brooklyn, New York and spends her free time binge-watching quality TV, drinking cider with amazing friends, and learning the art of radical self-acceptance, one day at a time.