The Season of the Angry Man

It is the season of the angry man.

James Cagney. He played the angry man on the silver screen.
James Cagney. He played the angry man on the silver screen.

Oh, who’s kidding who. It’s always the season of the angry man. Angry men have been beating the shit out of their wives, their kids, their parents for years, and nobody cared. They started wars and we called them brave. They forced their religious beliefs down our throats and we called them pious. They sang or rapped about violence toward others, especially women, and we called them cool.

But now even the common angry man is voicing his anger in the public arena, and we are concerned.

And oddly fascinated.

Angry men lashing out publicly has become so common that the angry men trying to make a name for themselves are having to commit crimes particularly heinous. Want to be the next Lee Harvey Oswald? You’ll have to kill a famous person. Or shoot up an elementary school. Or kill people at a church prayer meeting right after they offer to pray with you.

Tell the truth. You don’t know the names of the victims, but you know the names of all those angry men. And didn’t you watch that video posted yesterday to Facebook by the angry man who killed those two young reporters? Sure you did.

Those who consider themselves smarter than the rest of us (and yes, they’re mostly men) are trying to find ways of slowing the endless stream of violence perpetuated by angry men. But what good has it done? Angry men continue to kill every day and there’s no end in sight.

I have resigned myself to the reality that these types of senseless killings will continue for a long time to come. Since none of us know when we may become the target of an angry man, I suggest we all keep our affairs in order.

In the meantime, I ask the mothers among us to teach your daughters to not give away their power to angry men, and to teach your sons that despite what they hear from other angry men, the world really isn’t theirs for the taking.


34 thoughts on “The Season of the Angry Man

  1. Thank you Jen for expressing a sentiment I did not have the words to express. My ex put my daughter in an instituition. She is an adult. But she could not fight. Sh did not need to be there. It was not an appropriate place. She was mad at him. Mad about the divorce and how he handled the procedure. He would not go to conventional therapy. He disposed of her. Thank you. I cannot thank you enough. Let our story be a lesson. I didn’t back down. So he hurt me through her.

  2. Thank you for this. Society has such a sick fascination with the Angry Man. Men think they have to be him and women think they have to love him. We can’t change the whole world, but we can certainly change our corner of it by, as you say, teaching our kids differently, and also by choosing to act differently ourselves (including what we choose to spend our attention on).

      1. Yes!!! And I think sometimes women live out their own anger vicariously through him. Some of the ways we are socialized are pretty harmful.

      2. So do the rest of us in society have an obligation to protect her from her own foolishness, or should we let her pay the consequences of her actions? We tend to hover somewhere in the middle with no clear answer to that.

      3. I think we should teach her as a girl to own and manager her own anger and not caretake boys, and I think we should teach boys to own and manage their own anger rather than depending on women to try to contain them. Teaching our kids some self-control and respect for others would go a long way. And we should stop paying money and attention to stuff like action movies where every man and woman is cast in these stupid stereotypes where we are worshiping the Angry Man and the Beautiful Nurturing Woman.

        I don’t think women who fall in love with the Angry Man are necessarily foolish. I think they are just well-brainwashed by a combination of culture and patriarchy and movies and maybe the gender roles their own parents and literature, etc., etc…. So yeah, I think we should protect victims and I think we should hold the Angry Man acocuntable for his actions, but protection and punishment isn’t enough. We also have to find a way to teach them and everyone else how not to end up right back in the same place, if that makes sense.

        Okay, end of morning rant!

  3. I make it a point to remember the names of victims, not perpetrators. Sometimes I have to select one victim (Charlotte Bacon) in order to have one name to focus on rather than dozens. If we paid more attention to victims and less to perpetrators we might have fewer perps looking for everlasting glory. But we humans remember those who commit evil acts before we remember the victims of those acts.

    Sometimes it is hard to feel a great deal of empathy for the victims who are perceived of as the dregs of society or, like Eklutna Annie, we just do not know who they are other than a body left by a serial killer (See: Butcher Baker). I actually knew this serial killer when I was in Alaska. He gave me the creeps and I never understood what other people saw in him.

    As to the angry man who just murdered a TV crew – I can understand spreading his names (real/professional) far and wide while they were looking for him. That’s over now. I think I’ll store Adam Ward’s name rather than that of his killer.

    I’ve not been tempted to watch the video. Perhaps, as a former CPS worker, I’ve seen too much violence already. Too many angry men. And some angry women as well.

    As to the current murder, I figured he’d kill himself or go down in a suicide by cop scenario. These yahoos always get it in the wrong order – first shoot yourself to death, then… oh, right, do it my way and there is no further body count .

    1. These guys are they way they are for a reason. And they have gotten away with a lot of stuff they really shouldn’t have gotten away with long before they pull the trigger. I think that’s where empowering women comes in. If we’d press charges against these assholes when they beat us or destroy our stuff…… but then, the odds of him being held accountable by our criminal system are pretty slim, and then he’s back to exact his revenge on us for speaking out against him. You see, the odds really are in favor of the angry man.

      1. Yes, yes, yes! They are that way for a reason! I totally agree. And it’s a societal pattern. Every time we dismiss a guy like this as “crazy,” we are ignoring the fact that we absolutely CAN prevent things like this from happening, if we recognise that we are part of the problem every time we say “boys will be boys” to excuse them, or punish them with “boys don’t cry” so they don’t learn to manage their feelings in prosocial ways. The things we do to warp boys so they became Real Men (TM) are truly awful. It’s no wonder that sometimes they explode. And yet we keep perpetuating the things that cause this to happen, and so the odds really do remain in their favour.

      2. Society helps foster people who don’t take responsibility for their actions by overlooking “bad” behavior until an event such as this happens. If they delve into this guys past, do you think they’ll find a stellar employee, a social person? I’m betting that there were warning signs in his past.

        Then the zealots come out with their gun control agenda ranting that this wouldn’t happen if we had gun bans. This isn’t a gun control issue, it is a person out of control issue. I’m not saying necessarily a mental health problem but an overall problem of impulse control and anger issues.

  4. You can only teach people if they are willing to learn. I’ve tried with some friends and they all seem to feel that they can change someone. It wouldn’t happen in most cases.

  5. We are a violent society! We claim outrage over violent acts but express the desire to inflict violence on the perpetrator. I’m not a big proponent of “turn the other cheek” but I don’t agree with peoples responses for retaliation (not on this blog and not on this issue) either. Angry, insecure people are dangerous.

  6. Violence seems to be the new black..every corner of the has made it so we are more aware..yet it has happened since the beginning of time..Angry people and women ..and while men over represent the violators there are of course women who are just as vile and vicious…humans are angry…i know as an Australian most of us do not understand the love of guns ..we had a horrid massacre in Tasmania..a mentally deranged man killing people visiting an historic site..the backlash was swift..guns were handed in in a buy back scheme and laws tightened..having said this i do now if your aim is to kill maim or injure you will find a way..people refer to these criminals as animals..i find that the most offensive thing of all..humans are supposed to have the capacity tio reason and use

      1. Amazing..i dread that like a lot of bad ideas Australia will end up in the same boat..but we do have pretty tough far..:( yes profit over people runs to pharmaceuticals as well..amazing the power of these corporations that feed like pirhanas on others problems.

  7. Good post on todays’s current violence trends and age-old domestic abuse. Violence only seems more prevalent but it is media and internet that has made it so. It has always existed, unfortunately. 😦

  8. You have bought up a lot of issues I’ve been thinking about. In the public sphere we seem to have entered the era of Anger. Everyone’s angry all the time and they get together and get angry with other angry people, and yes it seems to be mostly men right now in this angry public shouting match. I’ve seen it first hand at restaurants, hospital waiting rooms and coffee shops in the past 2 years. I am still trying to understand where this is all coming from and why now.

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