We call our warships “she.” The earth is commonly named “Mother Earth” because of its ability to both create and destroy. Women are routinely compared to black widows, vipers, lionesses and tigresses. Pick any female comic book character, and you will see the innate power of the names given to these women. They are called Black Widow, Poison Ivy, Asp, Black Mamba, Queen Bee, Cheetah, and Fatality. All of these comparisons show the raging strength and power of women. Why, then, are we expected to hold back in the “real world?”
There is an interesting double standard for men and women when it comes to showing rage and aggression. When men break their cool facade in an explosion of anger, we naturally assume his feelings are valid and deserved. We listen when a man is angry because we respect that anger. When women become angry and project their feelings outward, society assumes she is menstruating or hysterical. Her feelings are somehow invalidated because of her sex. A woman’s anger is not respected, but rather gaslighted and viewed as irrational.
How many times have we been asked if we were ok? And responded that we were fine so we didn’t appear to be emotional or irrational, even when we clearly weren’t fine? It’s been too many times to count at this point. Too many damn times have we pushed our own feelings aside to make others feel comfortable. It’s time for this to change.
We cannot allow ourselves to hold our anger back when we experience injustice like society wants. When women become angry, we claim our space in the world. Anita Sarkeesian, Anita Hill, Emma Sulkowicz, and Elizabeth Warren have all become angry about injustices they have personally faced, or that they see on a daily basis. We need more of these women. We need more women unafraid to speak out against injustice and to push back against restrictive societal norms. When women face injustice, like harassment or sexual abuse, we have two options. We can either say nothing, or we can speak out. Speaking out is our only option, even though it might be difficult. Injustice and violence against women cannot continue.
It’s time to (enter really awesome female comic book character name here) up, and get angry.