I am so going to see this movie. I’ll probably take about a case of tissues with me, but I am going to go see it. If I can, I’m going to take G/Son with me.
I don’t know about you, but the Patriarchial trope that women are cute, or sexy, or even beautiful when they’re angry always impressed me as one of the most dangerous. (OK, maybe just after “She asked for it,” but, still.) I don’t get angry often (no, really.) With my Sun in Pisces and my Ascendent in Gemini, I’m better than is good for me at seeing both sides of everything. As a Pisces, I have borders that are way too permeable and can almost always tell what others are thinking, understand their point of view, see why they act as they do. It took me most of my life to get to the point where I can (usually!) tell the difference between what someone else thinks and what I, myself, actually think.
But as someone slow to anger, when I DO get angry, I’m really angry and it’s usually over something pretty egregious. (OK, there was that time I went ballistic over whether to use a “see, e.g.” signal in a citation or a “Cf.,” but that was really because the other side had already worked my last Southern nerve way too many times.) The Patriarchial joke that women are cute, sexy, beautiful, etc. when angry is really a way of ignoring women’s anger. It reinforces that we’re here for absolutely NO other purpose than to be attractive to men. Even our anger doesn’t have any real place in the world except to allow them to be amused by us. It’s funny that we’re angry. We’re like silly little animals, yapping over something, but so cute that it just makes them pat us on the head.
And, you know, fuck that bullshit.
But I love the way that the title of this film: “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry,” turns that bullshit on its head. Yes, yes we are. We are beautiful in our power, and our anger, and our outrage. We are often at our best when anger rises up within us and we stand up for ourselves, our daughters, our nieces, our grandmothers, our friends, our great-great-many-times-great granddaughters. We are mighty, and graceful, and we are drop-dead gorgeous when we are angry.
As a postcript, I’ll add that I’ve been reading Joan C. Williams’ book, What Works for Women at Work and she’s one of the first women I’ve read who speaks meaningfully about the conflict between generations of women, perhaps because her book is written with her daughter, Rachel Dempsey. And after watching the trailer for She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, I do want to say: Dear Millenials, we did this for you, too. You’re welcome.
/hat tip to The Greenman