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.
Jess Zimmerman is the editor-in-chief of Electric Literature. Her essays and opinion writing have appeared in the Guardian, the New Republic, Slate, Hazlitt, Catapult, and others. Her book Women and Other Monsters, on feminism and mythological creatures, is forthcoming in March 2021.
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“Most cultures have a female monster who preys on pregnant women and children. In ancient Greece, her name was Lamia.”
More in this series
“Medusa’s ugliness grew and grew, becoming something greater than herself but still part of her legend.”
Even before death takes a loved one, marking us with deep knowledge, we partake of death every day.
I suspect that these shows, which characterize speed and hustle as natural elements of cooking, are part of the male professional kitchen’s effort to divorce their work from the feminine history of cooking.