Society tells us that women are soft and emotional; men are tough and rational. Men are not emotional? What, I ask, are anger, rage, and violence, if not emotions and the eruption of emotions? And why are men to prone to eruptions of anger? It’s generally attributed to testosterone. But something more basic than that causes eruptive anger.
Deep inner anger is the response of children who have been violated, even when they can’t articulate it. Violated? Yes, boys are forced to deny the “softer” and more nurturing side of their natures; they are mocked and humiliated if they show gentleness, tears, vulnerability. They are told that to be boys and men, they must develop or pretend to have the macho image that makes fun of the values that are associated with women, even when they themselves share, and must deny, those values.
That means that many boys carry within them a level of anger that is waiting for an outlet. Our society has taken advantage of that stored anger by assigning boys and men roles that require toughness, aggression, and violence. Often men take that anger out on women who are allowed to exhibit the human qualities men long for but cannot access.