Monday, April 18, 2005



which I got to via dr. b,

really hit me hard.

I remember reading a study a few years ago where a boy and a girl were asked to sit on a bench in a public place and not smile. At different times. The reactions of people passing by to the non-smiling children were recorded. The boy received no reactions.

The girl was instructed by passers-by to smile. She was told it made her unattractive. She was told that "whatever it was couldn't be that bad." One boy threatened to hit her if she didn't smile.

See, I was that kid. For various reasons, I was an unhappy, angry, depressed child, and I can remember teachers grabbing me by the chin and jerking my face toward them, ordering me to smile. I don't remember them ever doing this to a little boy in the class. Guys yelled at me out of car windows to smile. Men when I was in my teen stopped me in grocery stores and ordered me to smile. And they weren't kidding, either. It was a fucking command.

And this:

Bernadine P Healy says in the Journal of Women's Health, Vol 7(4), pp. 393-394: ".... studies have shown that within family life, women with or without children are actually angrier than men. As children arrive, and their numbers increase, women's anger increases even more.... Anger management strategies for women are suggested including biological and rational responses to anger stimuli and turning free-floating anger to constructive purposes."

Yes, you read that right.

Women are angrier than men.

Women with children are angrier than women without children.

Jeez Louise.

And I thought it was just me.

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