Two Books for Women to Read Right Now on Harnessing Rage and Building a Road Map to Channel It

Rage. We’ve all felt it. Not just simple anger, like road rage on a bad day. Instead, it’s raw, it’s deep, and it’s so vast it’s frightening to think about at times. Yet for women, we’re not supposed to let on that we feel it. And when we do show it, we’re judged harshly for it. Double standards abound. And we see them all around us, shown on a national stage every day.

Rage can come from a multitude of directions simultaneously. And given what’s happened in the past two years, American women have plenty of rage to go around. Lucky for us, there are two new books out that can help us make sense of it and direct it in ways that fill us with purpose. The first — Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger — encapsulates the complex cultural phenomenon we’re facing now, the gender dynamics that got us here, and it goes into detail explaining how women are taught to express our anger in the most important areas of our lives.

Well-researched, well organized, and well-written, Soraya Chemaly’s modern take on feminism surprised me in how many ways our anger can manifest itself, impacting our health, our families, our careers, and everything in-between. So many books about gender dynamics only point out the problems — which are vast and should of course be explained in some detail — but they leave us feeling lost and powerless. This one left me feeling hopeful. And ready for book number two.

Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger, by Soraya Chemaly; Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All, by Elisa Camahort Page, Carolyn Gerin, Jamia Wilson

Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All is written for both women and men, but with three women authors, much of the action recommended in the book holds closely why women are so angry and motivated to act right now to stand up for ourselves and each other. The book combines practical and inspirational information to take women from a place of being engaged and motivated to a state where they’re active and involved. That includes many relevant areas of activism: social media outreach, applying financial pressure, protest participation, and of course direct government involvement.

Elisa Camahort Page, Carolyn Gerin, and Jamia Wilson provide categorized tips and information, so that readers will know how to set expectations in challenging environments — whether it’s the Twittersphere or a rally — helping women prepare properly. The book explains what kind of supplies are needed for any kind of political activism and how to prepare physically and mentally for possible challenges. The term ‘revolutionary’ is used in the classical sense — “involving a dramatic change” — the strategies recommended in the book all encompass safe, peaceful tactics.

The women who wrote both of these books have decades of experience as researchers, activists, and writers. And they’ve worked with national women’s organizations, studying the problems we face and the solutions that can be most successful. They’ve met with some of the fiercest feminists in the country and they’re taking the national conversation to a new level in allowing us to assess what’s making us angry and to do something about it. So whether you go vote first and pick up their books second, or read the books before Election Day, get out and do both. If you’re angry, get informed, and get active.