Anger That Can Save the World: On Justice, Feminism, and the Furies
“Our anger exists to scourge the world, and to save it. Not everyone wants it saved.”
This is Role Monsters, a series on monstrous female archetypes by Jess Zimmerman.
Myth and folklore teem with frightening women: man-seducers and baby-stealers, menacing witches and avenging spirits, rapacious bird-women and all-devouring forces of nature. In our stories and our culture, we underline the idea that women who step out of bounds—who are angry or greedy or ambitious, who are overtly sexual or insufficiently sexy—aren’t just outside the norm: They’re monstrous. Women often try to tamp down those qualities that we’re told violate “natural” femininity. But what if we embraced our inner monsters?
I can help fix this. I can protect someone else. I just have to say it’s wrong.
This is gasoline. This is rotten meat. This is a rose
This is misogyny. This is rape culture. This is abuse.
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“Most cultures have a female monster who preys on pregnant women and children. In ancient Greece, her name was Lamia.”
“When you’ve spent all your life smothering your contradictions, their eruption can undo you.”
“Medusa’s ugliness grew and grew, becoming something greater than herself but still part of her legend.”
More in this series
As a mother, I’ve had to ask myself: What would never getting an answer, or even no longer expecting an answer, look like?
What, exactly, are the building blocks that make a fairy tale a fairy tale? And who—or what—might be making them in the future?