The power of angry women will change the world

Calm down. Don’t get hysterical. You’re crazy. Angry women are so aggressive.

Why are you upset, again?

Too angry, too opinionated, too much woman.

This is what girls, and then women, are told day in, day out: when we show strength, when we show anger, when we know emotion, when we are assertive.

Remember Serena William’s expression of anger when she accused the umpire of sexism in 2018? What came next? A racist cartoon perpetuating the “angry black woman” stereotype. When women show strength, anger, and power they are called hysterical, psychopathic, ridiculous. When women question the way the world works, the way people treat women, refuse to smile on command, we are labelled as “hysterical”. 

In ancient Greece, the uterus was thought to have been the “origin of all disease”, and when it ‘travelled around the body’ this caused women to behave ‘unnaturally’.  The disease, named hysterike pnix, was believed to cause the symptoms of “emotional outbursts” and “unreliable behaviour”. Over time, particularly in the Victorian era, the disease “hysteria” was slapped on any woman who stepped out of line (having a “sexual thirst” and disinterest in marriage, to name just two “symptoms”).

Society is still treating women like these hysterical, emotional, unreliable creatures. While medicine and science have advanced, our opinions of women and how they show emotion haven’t.

What’s the difference between an assertive person and a hysterical one? One is male and the other is female.

The truth is this: angry women unsettle men in power. They make women who are uncomfortable with their own strength and don’t want to admit society’s devaluing of their sex, nervous. They shake ignorant people and force them into reality, kicking and screaming.

The world isn’t ready to trust angry women.

 But angry women will change the world. And if you aren’t angry, you aren’t listening.

Amy Smith

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