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Where Are All The Angry Women?

by Leonora Watkins 7 months ago in feminism

Anger isn’t just for the boys

She's mad as hell and she's not gonna take it anymore!

I’ve been called a “very angry young woman.” I’ve been called aggressive, hostile, and bad-tempered. And do you know what? I am all of those things. But I’m also quite kind, polite, helpful and loving. Nobody ever says anything about that.

Just because I’m a woman, it doesn’t mean I’m immune to anger. And I know I’m not the only woman who has had this stuff said to her. I now think if you’re a woman and you’re not angry, you’re not paying close enough attention.

By Icons8 Team on Unsplash

The world accepts male anger, they embrace it as part of “being a man.” If a man doesn’t get angry or lash out then people think he’s weak. An angry man is seen as strong. But if a woman gets angry, she’s:

  • Crazy
  • A nightmare
  • A bitch
  • Hostile
  • Aggressive
  • Bad-tempered
  • Nasty
  • A bully
  • Hysterical
  • Bitter
  • Overreacting

Newsflash, women have stuff to be angry about too. It’s not a competition, I’m not saying we’ve got more to be angry about than guys. Everyone has different reasons for their anger. But women have personal issues and societal ones too.

Such as:

In the USA a woman is raped every 2 minutes

And if a woman dares to get angry about it, she’s branded an "angry feminist." Like it’s a bad thing. It’s not militant or radical to not want anyone to be raped. And when it happens every 2 minutes, it’s definitely not overreacting.

90% of adult rape victims are female

And 3 out of 4 of those rapes are committed by someone we know. 59% are acquaintances, 34% are family members and 7% are strangers. So yeah, we get to be angry that the chances of being raped by a casual acquaintance are as high as 59%!

2 women a week are killed by a current or former partner in the UK

This doesn’t need much explanation. A shocking number of women aren’t even safe in their own homes.

33,000 girls become child “brides” every day

They’re not brides, they are kidnap, trafficking, and rape victims. The same applies to so-called child prostitutes.

Women are 47% more likely to suffer serious car-crash-related injuries because safety features are designed for men.

In a study of 45,000 crash victims, researchers from the University of Virginia found female drivers were much more likely to be injured. This was because safety features were designed for a male driver.

And we’re not supposed to be angry about this stuff? These major injustices that the world just readily accepts? Nah, screw that.

Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

The trouble is, the normalization of men’s anger has even led women to think that we shouldn’t express ours. That people will think we’re “being a nightmare.” And they will, but to hell with what they think.

I’m not saying everyone should be angry 24/7. That’s not healthy. But bottling up anger is even worse, it’s bad for your mental and physical health. It can lead to headaches, increased blood pressure, stress and depression.

Are we willing to endanger our health just so others don’t think we’re problematic?

No. Expressing anger is as healthy as expressing sadness. Nobody would ever tell you not to let your sadness out and have a good cry. So why should they tell you not to have a good rant? Have you tried angry ranting? It’s so cathartic it’s unreal.

Even just writing out everything that’s rattling around in your brain makes your mind so much clearer. And if you say it out loud as you’re typing it’s even better. Like you’re in an 80s movie or something.

Expressing anger removes its power, it organizes your thoughts and provides physical and psychological relief from tension. There’s also an immense satisfaction gained from finally getting everything off your chest.

We need to normalize female anger. And TV is a good place to start. There are some amazing female characters and they might be in charge, but not enough of them are angry. It’s almost always the guys with the anger issues. There are a few and they’re freaking amazing. But we need more.

Angry women aren’t hysterical, they’re none of the things listed above. They’re just sick of putting up with so much shit and not being able to say anything about it. Because they know that if they do they’ll be called “a nightmare.”


Leonora Watkins

A qualified counsellor and an even more qualified queer. I specialise in victims of rape and sexual assault. I also have a degree in behaviour analysis.

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Read next: An Open Letter to My Rapist

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