Silencing, disguised

Molly Halpern
2 min readJan 29, 2021


Emotions are information. Anger is information.

When injustice or inequality gives rise to anger within us, what happens?

What do we do with that anger?

How do others respond to our anger?

Who gets to decide what we’re allowed to be angry about?

During the pandemic I am spending more and more time in virtual spaces where whatever I think feels welcome. Be it angry or sad, inspired or overwhelmed, it seems ok. And I’m spending less time with those who’d rather I wasn’t so opinionated or honest.

Are others doing the same?

How is that going to change things on the other side?

Are we all noticing the anger we speak and hear? Are we noticing how it’s responded to in some spaces and not others?

I am hearing anger expressed from a group of people I didn’t connect with much before the pandemic. Moms with little kids.

Before virtual calls felt completely normal, there’d be these 5 years where I’d talk less frequently to my friends with young children. When we did talk, because it was so infrequent, there’d be so much to catch up on that whole worlds were missed.

Now, in weekly calls with friends who are moms of young kids, I’m discovering a big piece of what I missed. I hear anger at how unfair and inhumane the system of motherhood is in the US, for example. And I have been shocked and saddened to discover — that that anger is still silenced, shamed, or unwelcome in “polite society.”

As a woman without kids, anger seems the most logical, understandable, and unavoidable reaction to the reality at hand.

The silencing of that anger disgusts me, but sadly, does not surprise me.

Because I know how easily some use the shaming of anger as a way of silencing voices and hiding the truth.

But when we look at who’s called too angry, and what opinion they’re expressing… we can see it’s not “how they said it”, but what was said and by whom.

For those who get what I’m saying, I want you to know I welcome your anger. I want to read more of it. Lots more. Bring it on, please.

Speak the truth, please.

Do it under a pseudonym or a pen name.

Just say it. Write it.

I want to hear it.

All of it.