How often are women discouraged from sounding angry or overly opinionated, either in literature or daily life? What percentage of women, from different age brackets, believe that being angry and speaking out about something hurts them in the long run? Have any women taken an interest in writing, whether it be a long or short piece, only to have it degraded using a label that’s often frowned upon like “chick lit”? How many women can name times when their anger may have incited change, whether it changed someone’s mind/actions or just informed a previously uninformed group? I would love for my study to answer all these questions.
I hypothesize that most women will have gone through discrimination in literature, having their works be degraded by a label. During the intersectional feminist seminar, we spoke about several women who write works of fiction, only to have them labeled as “chick lit”, which somehow has less meaning than a piece of fiction that was written by a man. Pieces of literature done by men are often called “thought-provoking” and “deep”, even if they didn’t equally develop all of their characters or important aspects of the plot.
I also believe that the older age group would believe that there can be an overly opinionated woman. I have noticed that the women of the older generation in my family often tell me not to get so angry, especially when I speak about feminism and its evolution through time. They always get so offended by my modern ways of thinking, telling me that I’m a millennial, which is somehow the bane of every old person’s existence.
Lastly, I hypothesize that the younger generation might be more passionate about certain things, especially pertaining to feminism. I think that younger women benefit a lot from getting their opinions out into the open/ranting/protesting. The younger generation just seems more open to new waves of thought.
If I had to conduct a study based off of my project, I would interview several groups of women. I would try to keep a variety in terms of ages as it is helpful to get the opinions of an older generation. I think that an age group of 18-year-olds to women in their 50s would be pretty broad and would give two sides of the spectrum in terms of thought patterns. The women would all have to have gone through some type of schooling, at least up to high school. It would be ideal if they went to college, as a college professor is a lot more likely to make meaningful comments on a student’s piece of work, as opposed to a high school teacher who often has state tests in the back of their mind. If I had to think about location, I think I would try to stay in New York just because I feel that it’s where a lot of modern and progressive ideas come from or are spoken of. Many protests take place in New York and protests are often seen as rage fueled or angry, but they’re so necessary for change.
I’d ask the women if they ever wrote a piece of work in which they ranted, or at least felt like ranting. Maybe they wrote an argumentative essay about a topic that really ground their gears or maybe they just kept a diary when they were young, always documenting the frustrating days they had. I’d like them to tell me if the ranting would have helped, even if it would have just made them feel better.
I would ask the women about any relationships they had formed from anger. I’d be especially interested in hearing about their relationships with other women, as I feel like women are often pitted against each other, but they also seem to be more likely to start friendships based off of a common problem.
To branch off of the idea that women are pitted against each other, I’d like to know if women would say that they received more criticism from women or men. This would just go to show how deeply rooted these older ideals for women are ingrained.
I don’t think I would ask the women their opinions on feminism because I wouldn’t want that to become a weak point in the experiment. I feel that identifying whether the women are feminist or not could be jumped on by a critic, who would ultimately say that the results are only true for feminist women. I would rather the women prove my hypothesis right just because it’s how they generally feel.
I would love to actually conduct this study and include it in my project. I think it could be done, I just wouldn’t have as many women as I would like to and the age bracket would lean more heavily towards younger women. I think that I could definitely consult some of the older women in my family, along with my friends. I may include my mini-study in my project because I think it could lend some insight into the minds of other women, not just mine.