“I have lived with that anger, on that anger, beneath that anger, on top of that anger … for most of my life.” – Audre Lord
“Once upon a time / I had enough anger in me to crack crystal” – Kiki Petrosino
“Out of the ash / I rise with my red hair / And I eat men like air.” – Sylvia Plath
The #metoo movement has sparked an ongoing conversation about women’s anger. But women’s anger isn’t anything new. Women expressing their anger openly and without concern for the repercussions or shame of it is what’s new. And let me tell you, it feels good, both to express anger and to read other women writing about it.
I have been thinking and writing about women’s anger lately. I’m not ready to share what I’ve been writing, but when I write, I also read a lot, and I’d love to share that with you.
My favorite read of the past month was filled to the brim with women’s fury: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. This collection of stories turns the oppressions that women face into literal horrors. I haven’t read anything quite like it.
I could make a reading list of angry women to read, starting with Machado’s fantastic book. I’d also include:
- The Power by Naomi Alderman
- Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
- Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
- Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
- The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
- Come Closer by Sara Gran
- The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
- The Female Man by Joanna Russ
- Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
- The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
And a few links:
- “Who gets to be angry?” Roxane Gay. New York Times, June 10, 2016.
- “I used to insist I didn’t get angry. Not anymore. On female rage.” Leslie Jamison. New York Times Sunday Magazine, January 21, 2018.
- “Most women you know are angry—and that’s all right.” Laurie Penny. Teen Vogue, August 2, 2017.