WOMEN AND ANGER
Women who are uncomfortable expressing themselves, particularly negative emotions such as anger, are more likely to end up feeling even more angry and may also be vulnerable to eating disorders, according to two separate studies.
Numerous studies have shown emotions such as anger, hostility and frustration, when not constructively expressed, are associated with greater risks for depression and even physical conditions such as heart disease. These two studies, conducted on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, highlight the importance of women being able to positively voice their feelings.
In the first, researchers Drs. Judith Hosie and Alan Milne of King's College at the University of Aberdeen in Old Aberdeen, Scotland, asked men and women to view two emotional film clips. During the first film, some were asked to suppress angry feelings, others were asked to express them, and still others were asked to substitute any anger with a happy memory. They were then shown the second clip and were told to respond however they felt spontaneously. Researchers reported women who suppressed their anger felt more like swearing than men. And the women who denied their anger felt more outraged, upset and disgusted than their male counterparts.
The researchers report in many cultures, women are under great pressure to conceal their emotions. "The reality is that women, no matter how high in power they may get in their life ... have a kind of people-pleasing syndrome which involves, among other things, an addiction to getting everyone's approval and getting everyone to like them," Braiker told UPI. "The price of nice you pay is the inability to deal with anger in an appropriate way."
Conversely, Braiker pointed out, niceness in men is associated with weakness while men who express anger are associated with leadership.
The second study, conducted by psychologists Suzanne E. Mazzeo of the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and Dorothy L. Espelage of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, interviewed 820 female undergraduate students. They found depression and alexithymia, the inability to identify and describe one's feelings, directly influenced a woman's risk for developing the eating disorders anorexia or bulimia. Family conflict, family cohesion, child or emotional abuse and neglect also contributed to a young woman's risk.
Mazzeo's study is published in the January issue of Journal of Counseling Psychology, a publication of the American Psychological Association.
Women have few role models to learn how to constructively express negative emotions. "That's not what girls are learning," said Dana Crowley Jack, professor of human development at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. and author of the recent book, "Behind the Mask: Destruction and Creativity in Women's Aggression." "They're learning indirect, manipulative behavior."
Women who do assert their feelings, she pointed out, often are perceived negatively by society. "People see (expressing anger) as real self-centered, selfish, and that's part of bitchiness because the norm is so strong that women should think of other people...and when you veer from that, you're in a lot of trouble."
(Thanks to Katrina Woznicki, UPI Science News)
One look around the exhibit floor at the International Housewares Show and it's apparent the baby boom generation is in charge.
But now that the boomers are solidly in middle age, instead of the kitschy lava lamps and fondue pots of their youth, tranquility fountains, products to help grab things in high places without the necessity of climbing a step-stool or ladder and more elegant versions of old staples dominate the 1,600 exhibits spread over two buildings of Chicago's McCormick Place complex.
The trade show, which attracts some 60,000 attendees, runs through Tuesday and is closed to the public.
Among the trends this year is simplicity. "Americans are obsessed with saving time," said A.J. Riedel, senior partner and founder of Riedel Marketing Group and editor of the International Housewares Association's Housewares MarketWatch newsletter. "The products that do well this next year will be the ones that deliver one of four benefits: the product makes life easier or more comfortable, the product saves us time, the product helps us simplify our lives or the product makes our home a haven."
Riedel said Americans think of their homes as a retreat and may burrow even deeper in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Stress relief products like spa therapy, massage and relaxation therapy are expected to do well in the current climate as people look for stress-reducers. Consultants also predict consumers will turn to yoga or meditation.
Philip Brandl, president and chief operating officer of the International Housewares Association, said the $65.5 billion housewares industry has been relatively recession-proof over the years. And with the economy still uncertain, manufacturers are predicting more consumer interest in hearth and home.
"When someone sees a product that's innovative and affordable, they will be prone to purchase it," added David S. Lengyl, president of Pfaltzgraff Consumer Products. "It's easier to go out and buy a new three-piece frying pan set or a new 20-piece set of dinnerware than new living room furniture."
The rocky economy is sending people back to the kitchen with an attendant boom in cook and bakeware sales. Riedel said surveys indicate consumers prepared food at home 42 times per month in 2000, up from 32 times per month in 1998.
(Thanks to UPI's Marcella S. Kreiter in Chicago)
In one of the broadest grass-roots efforts to solve the dilemma of racism in the United States, nine religious denominations are establishing an ecumenical relationship to be known as Churches Uniting in Christ. The nine denominations -- including three African-American denominations -- say they will periodically celebrate the Eucharist together, they will recognize one baptism and they will work together to achieve a shared vision of disabling racism at every level of American society.
"The time to live out our unity in Christ and to be a witness for racial reconciliation -- especially at the local church and community level -- hereby begins," said the Rev. Michael K. Kinnamon, director of the new organization.
Denominational leaders, including clergy and laity, will gather Jan. 20, at the historic Mt. Olive Christian Methodist Episcopal Cathedral in Memphis, Tenn., to celebrate the new accord during ceremonies marking the 73rd anniversary of the birth of civil rights leader, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The following day -- Martin Luther King Day -- 300 of them will re-enact the march by clergy to City Hall that helped end the garbage collectors' strike 33 years ago.
It was that strike that led to King's visit to Memphis and ultimately to his assassination on April 4, 1968.
Former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young has been at the forefront of the movement and although knee surgery will keep him home in Atlanta, he will deliver the keynote address via videotape at the ceremonies.
"For Martin Luther King's death to bring together the representatives of these churches 30-some years later is extremely significant," said Young, an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ. "Even though we are coming together publicly, I think we have to also recall that this is something that began almost immediately."
But Young admits there's still a long way to go. "We're certainly not saying that we've solved all the race problems," he said. "In fact, we're admitting that we still have many racial and cultural misunderstandings. To the cynic, though, I would say this: the process must go on and on. Repentance and reconciliation are not one-time events; they represent a continual process. It's true, you know, that we Christians are constantly repenting -- but thank God, not usually for the same sin."
(Thanks to UPI's Les Kjos in Miami)