That threw me back when I found my notes from the original “Blood of Angry Men” concept, which is not quite what the previous posts were about (The Blood of Angry Men Part 1 and The Blood of Angry Men Part 2). They’ve both touched on the core of whether anger can be justified (The Blood of Angry Men Part 1) and why it’s more common in men.
This is intended more as useful advice to women, because most men I know get it. There are two types of angry; now and stress.
First off is the plain and simple angry right now, over something that has just happened. Not last week, not whether there is some underlying problem. Just right now; the idiot that can’t drive; the nail that won’t go in straight or your favorite team playing like a bunch of lemons. Sometimes the best way to explain the difference is in a joke; as they say, “Oft a true word spoke in jest”.
A Man and Woman’s Diary for the Same Day
Saturday evening and I meet my boyfriend for dinner. He was very quiet and reserved all evening. Nothing I did seemed to cheer him up. We went back to my place and I massaged him. He barely responded so I escalated it to heavy petting and then we had intercourse. Afterwards he just rolled over and went to sleep, no hugging, no kisses. I’m afraid our relationship is in deep trouble. I cried myself to sleep not knowing what do.
Saturday, my team lost but at least I had sex.
That joke typifies short term anger. It is not personalised at the other person, but poor communication results in needless angst for the other (usually female) party. Continued failed communication leads to more stress and a reduction in each person’s resilience to life’s frustrations and with each other. It is curious how we can demand compassion for the Third World, but have little for our partners. If we all searched for our own effective communication strategy then we would all weather the short term stress better.
But what about long term stress? If you feel under less short term stress long term stress is easier to cope with than before. There are many issues about long term stress and I’ll return to that in some future post. However, there is a danger that men are under a new form of long term stress because many of their coping mechanisms, often played out in increased intimacy (or with sexual overtones), are frowned upon by the “new world order” of the post feminist era. This is because there has not been a fight for equality, rather a replacement of the old system with a new one. This creates new stresses on men and women, which is best reflected in the thinking of Rothbard, “Behind the honeyed but patently absurd pleas for equality is a ruthless drive for placing ‘the new elite’ at the top of a new hierarchy of power.” M. N. Rothbard
These new stress only require more effective communication between partners. The pressure to have it all, parent, good jobs, look good, life the great life, etc., etc., etc. This equality has not led to the reduction in stress for either side and we probably need to look at what we mean by equality in our personal relationships as well as our culture.
Maybe we’re all angry in this “me generation” because we know our rights, especially to equality. I’ll close on a thought about how we approach conflict and our need for “equality” in all our relationships by, probably, misquoting Henry Kissinger when he was asked about women’s fight for equal rights:
“No one ever fights for equality”. Henry Kissinger circa 1975