I wish there were a word for anger you don’t believe in.
I mean shallow anger, anger you ‘buy into’ like it’s part of a game. Anger you know would go away if you stopped for a minute to look at the source, but you feel it anyway because it’s fun, because it makes you feel like you’re symbolically supporting some sort of ideology that agrees with that anger.
I feel this anger when horny men message me really stupid things, like “can u send me a pic of ur butthole”. I have no actual right to be angry. I put nudes of myself on the internet, I welcome sexual comments, and I am completely unsurprised by horny men sending me horny messages. Of course. I understand. Deep down I am calm.
But on a surface-pretend level I think lots of terrible insults at them and pretend to think of myself as an empowered woman whose body is sacred and powerful, so powerful not just anybody can look at her butthole, especially not people who sends her grammatically offensive tweets from an account with an avatar featuring a penis lit with flash from a cell phone.
I also feel this with okcupid profiles when I see people say they’re a feminist. I am a bit skeptical of feminism but I can understand how a rational person would agree with it, and it means different things to different people, and I’m open to discussion.
But every single damn okcupid profile aggressively mentions feminism, usually in the first few paragraphs. What do you think you’re doing?? Everyone in your white college-educated town who isn’t turned off by you already is going to also be a feminist. It isn’t brave, it’s unoriginal. All you’re doing is signalling. Your face is conformist and I want to hit it.
When I stop and breathe, I know I don’t actually think that. Smart people mention feminism on their profiles. People I like. They have reasons for it. If I were born them, I would do the same thing. In a way, it’s beautiful. I know this. I understand. Deep down I am calm.
But it’s so much fun to be “angry,” and I increasingly allow it to happen when it doesn’t have actual repercussions – like when I’m alone in my room browsing okcupid, and not when I’m actually talking to someone face to face. The knowledge that I can remove the anger at any point, by just thinking about them with any amount of empathy, makes the anger feel a lot more comfortable. It gives the anger the sense of being a toy that I’m playing with rather than a state that possesses me.
I still need a word for the surface anger, though. For now I’m going to call it playnger but if any of you come up with a more clever term I’d love to hear it.