In this fascinating article for NBC News, journalist Mona Eltahawy extols the virtues of women getting angry, starting the piece with this beautifully-put question:
“What would the world look like if girls were taught they were volcanoes?”
The world is slowly coming to terms with the idea that emotions aren’t gendered, and that women are within their rights to get angry at the oppression they face and, more than that, to show this anger without immediately suffering unfair reproach.
And yet, there is still a long way to go, particularly in terms of where and to whom we should direct this anger.
In 1986 during test screenings for the movie Fatal Attraction, female audience members could be heard shouting “Kill the Bitch!” at lead antagonist Alex Forrest (played by Glenn Close) as the film concluded. These shouters weren’t laying any blame at the feet of the cheating husband, but at the trope character known as the other woman. The audience members wished death on someone who would now be seen as a mentally unstable and a more sympathetic character.
This Kill the Bitch mentality still rules many areas of discourse, above and beyond film and TV. Women are taught to become angry with one another in a seeming battle for scarce resources (success, love, male attention, power), instead of directing that rage at a patriarchal society that minimises women’s rights and creates discrepancies based on gender.
But 2018 brings with us a brand new crop of television serials and movies that celebrate the specific nature of female anger, showing that it can take many forms. Contrarah and Becky Matthews explored how this new age of rage is playing out on screen.
Feel free to speak kindly to Becky @ twitter.com/bec_bebop or shout at us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
And don’t get mad, get….REALLY MAD!