Reflections on “gentle anger” by Duchess Susanna:I love the opening lines of this song: “We are a gentle, angry people”. The irony of being a nonviolent activist for justice is a constant mission of gentle anger. Anger at the system. Yet, gentleness with the people who are caught up in it. Anger at injustice. Yet, gentleness and joy as we gather folks together to fight the injustice.
So many times, women are frightened by their own “anger”. Often, women are given messages to be sweet and kind. Some of the articles about the recent royal tour assert that while Duchess Catherine was mostly silent, the writer is sure that she is “sweet” or “kind” or “warm”.
In some materials I have read about education advocacy, experts warn mothers not to get too emotional and angry as they advocate for their children, implying that the parent would then be less effective. I think that anger is often a necessary motivator, and an emotion that gives us bravery when needed to fight unjust systems. Anger is connected to a part of us that cares deeply. So, I believe that it is never good to entirely turn off ones anger. Instead, anger can be used like other passionate emotions as a motivator and energy giver. Although, anger has to be used carefully and wisely, including a constant commitment to staying nonviolent.
The song “Singing For Our Lives” was written for healing after the death of LGBT heroes Harvey Milk and George Moscone. So, it is also a good song to honor the recent victory in New York for the right of gay people to marry.