Women Are Having Temper Tantrums And Calling It A ‘Rage Ritual’

David Roth. Getty Images.
David Roth. Getty Images. outdoors, scream, youth, teen, hat

Usually, I begin with a preamble to set up the topic that we’re going to discuss. But this time I think I’d rather jump right in. We’re going to watch a video without context and then we’ll circle back around and fill in the blanks.

Here’s the clip from USA Today that went viral over the weekend. If you didn’t see it, well then I’m sorry I have to do this to you. But here it is:


If you were able to watch the video, you’re probably pretty confused. If you only listened to the audio, then you’re extremely confused. Your mind is conjuring all kinds of images to go along with the psychotic assortment of sounds you just heard. You might imagine that it was a video of a bunch of rabid spider monkeys. Or maybe it was footage of an exorcism. If you guessed either of those two possibilities then you weren’t too far off, it turns out. 

Actually, that was a glimpse into something known as a “rage ritual.” Here’s the USA Today headline on the accompanying article: “Women are paying big money to scream, smash sticks in the woods. It’s called a rage ritual.” Now, you may be wondering: What? Huh? Why? And more specifically, why would you pay “big bucks” to go into the woods and bang sticks on the ground? If ever there was an activity you could do for free, wouldn’t that be it? 

Unfortunately, no satisfactory answer to any of those questions will be provided. As the article states

Kimberly Helmus still gets chills thinking about her first rage ritual.

Two-and-a-half years ago after her divorce, the cybersecurity engineer embarked on a retreat to Scotland with Mia Banducci − an author and self-described “Spiritual Fairy Godmother,” better known online as Mia Magik.

As part of the retreat, Banducci held a rage ritual: a ceremony in which participants scream and beat large sticks on the ground in the woods. Participants are encouraged to think of people and experiences that have wronged them and to scream and swing the sticks for at least 20 minutes, or until they can no longer move their arms.

Rage rituals have garnered attention on TikTok, where they’ve resonated, particularly with women. In comments, women describe how moving it is to see other women embody their anger − an emotion experts say society often discourages women from expressing.

“There’s no place where you can see women be able to be angry like that and it not be condemned,” Helmus says. ” ‘She’s just hormonal. She’s just unhinged. She’s just crazy. She’s just on her period. She’s just, whatever.’ This was a place where you were, probably for the first time in a really, really long time, if ever, able to scream out loud things about how you felt.

That’s true. In polite society, you are not encouraged to roll around on the ground screaming at the top of your lungs. That is a temper tantrum, and we try our best to prevent three-year-olds from engaging in them. An adult having a temper tantrum is, and should be, viewed with bewilderment and disdain. Do these people actually think otherwise? Do they really think that it would be better if adults were encouraged to have psychotic, screaming spasms of rage in public, in front of people who did not sign up for the opportunity to witness such a spectacle?

WATCH: The Matt Walsh Show

Apparently so. We’ll return to that point in a moment. Here’s one more quick passage from the USA Today piece: 

Banducci has led rage rituals for several years and began doing them first for herself, then for friends and, eventually, as part of her days-long retreats, which include other activities and can range in price from around $2,000 to $4,000. Her one-day version, she says, costs $222 per ticket. 

The process of a rage ritual is pretty simple. First, Banducci says, participants gather large sticks while conjuring to mind “every person who’s ever crossed you, who’s ever hurt you, who’s ever ignored your boundaries or taken advantage of you or abused you in any way.” After some warm-up breaths, the screaming and swinging begin. The ritual is held in the woods so participants can make noise without fear of bothering people nearby. 

Banducci isn’t the only person who leads events dealing with rage. Secret Sanctuary will host a “Sacred Rage Ceremony” in Alberta, Canada in July, and Jessica Ricchetti − an author and self-proclaimed mystic − will host a “Sacred Rage” women’s retreat in North Carolina in June.”

When people do this and give themselves permission to release their anger, their capacity for joy actually expands,” Banducci says. “They’re able to feel more happiness and pleasure, and they go home to their families with more gratitude and ease and peace.

So these women pay over $200 per ticket for the privilege of screeching maniacally and banging sticks on the ground.

In a way you almost have to respect the grift. I’d like to say that whoever first saw a toddler having a tantrum in the grocery store and thought, “I bet I could get middle aged women to pay me thousands of dollars to do that in the middle of the woods” is a marketing genius. But I may be giving them too much credit.

In fact, the rage ritual scam isn’t especially unprecedented. Rage has been a booming business for a while now. Rage rooms have been around for years, offering paying customers the opportunity to go into a room — clad in helmets, goggles, and other protective gear — and break stuff. For a generous fee, of course. 

Here’s a Canadian media report from several years ago:

I truly cannot think of anything lamer than getting in your car and driving to a special venue where you pay money and wear protective gear to smash plates with a baseball bat. But this is what people do. And in fairness they don’t always pay money for the privilege. A couple of weeks ago a TikTok influencer documented her own rage ritual, which she performs for free in her bathroom with a bowl of ice. Watch:

“Daddy, the ice tray is empty and mommy is screaming in the bathroom.” 

“Yes, son. She’s doing it again. Mommy is just a bit mentally unbalanced. Nothing to worry about.”

Now, we have mostly seen examples so far of women having allegedly therapeutic tantrums. I should mention that — tragically — this is not a trend relegated only to the female sex. Indeed, there are many workshops available for men who wish to get in touch with their feelings by paying hundreds of dollars to humiliate themselves in this fashion. Here’s one:

Those shirtless dudes screaming at a waterfall are apparently part of something called the Amend Movement. The organization’s website provides this explanation: 

When we are asked, “How are you doing?” we instinctively respond “I’m OK”, despite the reality that we may not be fine at all. Society has taught us to hide our true feelings and reply with the usual, simple solution. These workshops provides a safe and nurturing space to express any built up emotions, as well as teaching you to how to manage emotions day to day.

As a man myself, I can say that the last thing in the world I’m looking for is a “safe and nurturing space to express my built up emotions.” I can honestly say that I would rather be drowned in that river than gather there with a bunch of men to get in touch with my emotions or whatever. But not all men share my preferences. In fact, some men are apparently willing to pay $250 to do what you just witnessed.

There’s probably no point in debunking the science behind banging sticks, breaking plates, throwing ice, or screaming at waterfalls, but I will take just a moment to point out that there’s no evidence that anyone’s mental health is improved by these embarrassing spectacles. In fact, it’s pretty obvious that our mental healthy is harmed this way. Extreme, random, broad and undirected bursts of rage are never healthy, and indulging that impulse only makes you feel the impulse even more. This is a basic fact of human psychology that everyone should understand but few people in our culture seem to. Indulgence leads to more indulgence. You aren’t venting or getting it out of your system. You’re introducing it into your system. You’re feeding the urge, which makes it grow stronger.

What adults need to learn — what these adults in particular need to learn — is how to channel your anger and frustration in a useful, constructive way. A successful, well adjusted person knows how to harness that energy and use it as fuel in the pursuit of a goal. If you need a more immediate and physical outlet, then go to the gym and lift. Don’t scream and cry while you’re lifting, just lift. You are at best wasting that energy with fruitless, futile expressions of blind, uncontrolled, untempered emotion. At worst, you are training yourself to act like a toddler.

There’s one other point to be made. We hear from the advocates of these forms of “therapy” — just as we hear constantly from the culture at large — that our society is repressive and too often encourages people to suppress their emotions and put on a false front and a fake smile and pretend that everything is okay. But the opposite is obviously the case. There has never been a society in the history of the world more open to and welcoming of emotional expression. If you think that the pressure to suppress your emotions in our culture is too great, you would have hated living literally anywhere else at any other time.

Historically, most societies — civilized ones, anyway — have been governed by rules of dignity and decorum. Two words that are barely ever used today. There is simply no doubt that we live in the most emotionally open society that has ever existed on the planet. And yet it turns out that people are not happier, are not more fulfilled, are not reaping the rewards that were supposed to come from this emotional honesty. When people are encouraged to wear their emotions on their sleeves and dump their feelings on everyone, constantly, holding nothing back, and making sure that everyone knows how sad and angry and put upon they are all time — it turns out that this only makes them feel more sad and angry and put upon.

We should try going the other way. Bring back a sense of stoicism. Learn how to suffer silently — at least some of the time. That doesn’t mean we should be emotionless robots. It does mean that we should get in the habit of shouldering our burdens with poise and dignity and strength. Control our emotions rather than allowing them to control us.

Even if you feel angry and sad, you should walk through the world acting like you don’t. That’s not phoniness, it’s called maturity. And the great thing is that if you get in the habit of acting like a mature, emotionally stable person, eventually you’ll actually become one.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Women Are Having Temper Tantrums And Calling It A ‘Rage Ritual’