The subject line of the fundraising letter was clear:
I am angry and I own it,
It’s hard to recall when the phrase, “own it,” became popular. The Real Housewives of Wherever use it all the time, but then, it’s usually used as a threat, “own it” or else. Apparently, it was meant to be more positive.
The other day over lunch, our conversation turned to the importance of the idiom “own it.” We realized that owning it — honoring ourselves and acknowledging our unique tendencies, talents, skills, desires, fears, and neuroses — succinctly sums up how we can all go about living in a way that is full and filled with integrity — in all facets of our lives.
If that doesn’t clear it up, maybe this will.
Owning our individual needs, desires, skills and even insecurities allows us to see the value of setting intentions for ourselves and our actions, and working toward a sense of integrated self-definition and an authentic sense of security in our work and in our lives.
When Elizabeth Warren “owned” her being angry, it was in response to what she believed to be attacks on her for being a woman. An “angry woman.”
Warren’s email referred to backlash toward Biden and another 2020 Democratic candidate, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, both of whom her supporters say launched attacks on her that were sexist, CNN reported.
Biden has since denied that he went after the fellow front-runner because she’s a woman, telling the network on Friday that “the strong women in my life are angry” but that “has nothing to do with it.”
So Biden’s response is strong women are angry, because he didn’t yet have a gaffe that day? Yet, Warren didn’t deny she was angry or dispute the underlying question of whether her inability to have a disagreement without animosity was false. She owned it.
Without naming Warren specifically, Biden’s post said “these kinds of attacks are a serious problem” and “reflect an angry unyielding viewpoint that has crept into our politics.”
The archaic expression is that reasonable minds may differ. Some will say this remains true, but the problem is that no one who disagrees with you is reasonable. QED. But Warren wasn’t satisfied with challenging Biden’s refusal to acknowledge that Warren’s Medicare4All plan was the best thing ever, and made it about sexism.
“Over and over, we are told that women are not allowed to be angry. It makes us unattractive to powerful men who want us to be quiet,” the email read.
Whether you find Warren attractive is entirely up to you. I don’t kink shame. But does anyone question whether women are “allowed” to be angry? Has anyone figured out a way to stop them from being angry? Men get angry. Women get angry. People get angry. Is this a new phenomenon?
But Warren just played the card, the “vote for me because I’m a woman” card, when no one played the “don’t vote for a woman” card. There is no reason, per se, why a woman can’t be president. Or prime minister, right Maggie and Golda? But they didn’t get the job by complaining that anyone who didn’t back them was sexist, and should they not win, it proves their loss can only be a product of sexism.
Anger has its place. We all feel it. But anger is hard to pull off for anyone. It is unattractive, whether on a man or woman. Is this the face of a guy with whom you want to grab a beer?
But Biden’s point had nothing to do with Warren being angry. It had to do with Warren being reasonable, that Biden wasn’t evil because he didn’t agree with her proposal, that Biden was running for president without adopting every passionate desire of the most radical progressive platform.
That Warren reacted with anger wasn’t because Biden was unreasonable, but that this was the moment in time when a paradigm shift could occur, juxtaposing the progressive Utopia with the hated Trump. And Biden would have passed on at least some of the most untenable ideas, squandering the possibility that they could reinvent America in ways that would never, otherwise, be remotely acceptable to any rational person.
Men can be unreasonable. Women too. That Warren chose unreasonableness over the reaction that Biden isn’t Hitler-adjacent but just disagreed, doesn’t make anyone sexist except Warren for trying to make her “anger” a women’s wedge. Will she own it?