Women Stay Angry in 2018
Women Need to Stay Angry in 2018
Last week, I pushed a man in a bar. Not a gentle nudge, but a shove. And I was waiting to do it. My muscles clenched, urging him to retaliate. I stood with a drink in one hand, wanting for the first time in my life to use the other to punch this person in the face.
The guy hadn’t done anything especially wrong—maybe bumped into me a few times as he swayed and clutched his drink. But then he turned, the gaze of one eye landing on my forehead, the other on the windowsill to my left, and said: “Give us a smile, love!”
And that was it. I just lost it. I was suddenly absolutely livid. I was seething with a real shocking intensity—my arm shot out and I shoved him backward.
“No, you can’t demand a smile from me. I hate you for asking, and I hate myself for obliging every time until now. When did I first decide to smile, laugh, or make noises in bed when I didn’t feel any of it for real, to flatter or assuage you or persuade you to leave me alone? When did I begin to forget that this was my body? My body. My hands. My lips, which perform for you in this world we’ve built. Can’t you see that this is broken?”
Is what I wanted to say. But I was silent.
Something has shifted in the past couple of months. The seed was sown last year when a qualified, experienced woman lost out to a sexist, racist, alleged rapist in the American elections. A comedic comparison in eligibility if it hadn’t also broken my heart. But it set a ball in motion. And it has been a year of savage blows to women since. Speaking to other women, many say they’re also charged with this new alien anger.
I confessed the way I’d been behaving to a friend, guiltily, assuming it was work stress. I’d been irritable and snappy. Feeling very sudden flashes of rage in everyday interactions with men that might have just irritated me before. And now, this involuntary physical aggression.
I couldn’t understand it. Lots of my best friends are wonderful, kind, hilarious, good men. I wouldn’t live in a world without them. But everything has changed very suddenly, and I couldn’t believe how ignorant I had been until now to the fury collecting in my bones.
Source: Women Need to Stay Angry in 2018