Dancing between Anger and Love: Reflections on Feminist Activism

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Do we need anger to advance an agenda of gender equity? Is love the appropriate emotion or a misplaced emotional reaction in the face of injustice? In this paper I begin by reflecting on the interlinkages between activism and anger, I then apply the thesis presented by the philosopher Martha Nussbaum to examine a series of personal experiences of gender and feminist activism. In her book, Nussbaum (2016) discusses the nature of anger and claims that anger is both a sign of deficient rationality and morally wrong. She defends that if we aim at developing a more just society that contributes to human flourishing we should reject anger and instead encourage a speedy form of transition-anger followed by a further emotional change into love. I enter into dialogue with Nussbaum’s main thesis by examining a number of activist examples that go from the personal and intimate spheres to those of work environments and institutional settings and further to the level of scholarly global networks. This essay finalizes by reflecting on the bumpy emotional dance that links anger and love.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEphemera: Theory & politics in organization
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)955-970
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe Feminism, Activism, Writing! Workshop - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 20 Nov 201720 Nov 2017


WorkshopThe Feminism, Activism, Writing! Workshop
LocationCopenhagen Business School
Internet address


  • Feminist activism
  • Anger
  • Love

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