Your anger is real, your rage is valid — and now, there’s a number to call when you feel either of these emotions. The number is associated with the new podcast For a Bad Time, Call … which, in the creators’ words, “is dedicated to women’s anger.” Women can can call the podcast’s number to express their anger about anything — from oblivious men to a defective bag of chicken nuggets.
Anne Jaconette and Clare Roth thought of the idea last spring — months before the presidential election and the public uptick in women’s rage. Jaconette and Roth, who met while at Northwestern University, were frustrated that women’s anger was never taken seriously.
“I suggested, ‘What if there was a number you could call and shout out all the anger you’re holding inside?’ and Clare basically replied, ‘We could make that happen,’” Jaconette tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
And make it happen they did. Jaconette, who is from Brooklyn, N.Y., and Roth, who hails from Columbus, Ohio, joined forces to launch the podcast right when the news of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations broke. Though they didn’t create the hotline in response to that, the timing worked nicely for their mission. Women called the hotline with all sorts of scenarios that made them angry, and Jaconette and Roth strung them together for listeners.
“To make it into a podcast is important because it lets other women know that they’re not alone — that the things that are frustrating them are frustrating others,” Jaconette explains.
First, they solicited friends to call in to test the idea, but then about six weeks ago, non-friend started calling. So far, they’ve received more than 100 calls and have released three episodes. One woman talks about how her boyfriend broke up with her. Another is just fed up with being fed up all the time. One caller, in particular, really stood out to Jaconette.
“It’s one woman talking about how difficult it is to speak to her mom about her sexual assault, and it really speaks to what the entirety of the podcast is about: women connecting to other women about some of the universal pain we’ve experienced,” she says.
Considering all the anger women have held in throughout history, the number of calls is no surprise.
Pamela Stone, a sociology professor at Hunter College and author of Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home, tells Yahoo Lifestyle the “angry woman trope” used to silence women who express themselves or their emotions has been around “forever, in most women’s experience.” She explains that the stereotype in itself — or even using the word “venting” to describe women who are blowing off steam — is a form of oppression because it diminishes and discredits women’s right to be angry, which disempowers them.
Research indicates that, so far, this tactic to keep women quiet has worked. A 2015 study found that people perceived women who were angry more negatively than they perceived men who were angry. The angry men were actually seen as powerful. Another study of women in the workplace found that even sad women were better received than angry ones. This can cause girls and women suppress their anger, which puts them at higher risk for ailments such as anxiety and panic attacks, according to the American Psychological Association.
Stone explains that women of earlier generations would deal with their anger by discussing their emotions with each other, but now — thanks to social media — there’s increased visibility and strength in numbers.
“I would point to the consciousness-raising groups that arose in ’60s and ’70s as a way of giving women a safe space to share their personal experiences, and in the process realize how widely shared they were,” she says. “Shared consciousness gives way to group identification and ultimately the seeds for social movements and social change. This process warp-speeded with social media, as the #BLM and #MeToo examples illustrate.”
As more women become empowered to speak out, others will join. And as we’ve seen, people will have no choice but to listen. For now, founders Jaconette and Roth just want to give women a space to speak out, period.
“If it can continue to be a sounding board, to be a place for women to connect and feel validated in their emotions, then we’ll be happy,” Jaconette says. “We do have thoughts of expansion for the future, longer interviews, maybe some themed episodes, but for now we’re focusing on highlighting women’s voices and ensuring the hotline stays strong.”
Had a bad time? Call 1-669-BAD-TIME and get ready to rage.
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