S(anger) Goes Postal in The Woman Rebel: Angry Rhetoric as a Collectivizing Moral Emotion
Abstract

This essay maintains that the intensive anger that scholars have dismissed in Margaret Sanger’s The Woman Rebel functioned rhetorically to redefine morality in the Progressive Era. After advancing a theory of angry rhetoric as a public moral emotion, I offer a reading strategy of emotional adherence to track anger’s diffuse discursive power in The Woman Rebel. The angry rhetoric of The Woman Rebel not only laid a new cultural ideal for the morality of contraception, it also constituted a militant identity for those oriented by their anger at The Woman Rebel’s suppression and Sanger’s criminal indictments. This essay closes by meditating upon the lasting role that anger has played in energizing the International Planned Parenthood Federation over the past 60 years.


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