Monday, May 17, 2010


I have changed sites. Click here to read this post at

Every woman knows what it's like to be accused of emotionalism during an argument. Whether the person with whom you disagree claims you're "on the rag", that you're "an angry girl", that you're "overly emotional", "not logical", "overreacting", "humorless" -- we all have plenty of examples. It's an age-old tactic to minimize and berate, to turn the argument around, to make you feel like there's something wrong with you. Because how can you prove you're not "emotional"? Other people can't see into your mind.

What's wrong with being emotional anyway? People who don't have emotions have serious difficulty making decisions. Emotions guide our morality, our art, our relationships, our sex lives. Without emotion, we quite simply would not exist.

Here is my mantra for these situations, courtesy of Ani DiFranco, from her song "Not a Pretty Girl":

every time I say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear

Links: (I will update as I discover, or am sent, more):
"Love and knowledge: Emotion in feminist epistemology" by Alison M. Jaggar


  1. Love it. So much. That is one of the worst things that can be used against someone in an argument, because it says absolutely nothing (other than that the person labeling someone else "emotional" has nothing better to say).

  2. I agree. I felt kind of odd admitting that I've been suffering from mood swings right after my 'if I only had a brain' post, but this makes me feel better.

  3. I couldn't have said this any better. It's wrong to accuse anyone of being "too emotional". It's simply a poor excuse to fall back on when nothing better can be said, as Epiphora stated.

  4. Just to add an intellectual twist - according to D'Amasio (contemporary neuropsychologist of whom I know Elodie knows) cognition itself is not possible without emotion! So take that, you over-intellectualized repressed masculinist academics.

  5. Thanks for the citation, Mom :)