I was looking at books last night. I ran across the RE/Search book Angry Women.
I still love this book, but I found that far too few of the women who were featured in it were really angry or would own their anger. Too many women in this book insisted that they weren’t really angry. I think it was Susie Bright who voiced that sentiment, but it applied to many of the women. Really? Annie Sprinkle? The woman has never shown anger in anything I’ve ever seen. Hell, about a month ago, I watched a show about the making and influence of Deep Throat, and she gushed about how “revolutionary” and awesome it was. I’ve read Linda Lovelace’s book. It was about her being beaten, offered up to others under the threat of violence, and having make-up put over the bruises inflicted on her by Chuck Traynor so they could shoot another scene. Everyone saw the bruises, knew where they came from, and decided that it was better to cover them than to address them. Even the TV documentary about the movie mentioned Lovelace being ordered to give some mob sleazeball a blowjob in order to get funding. There’s nothing praiseworthy or “revolutionary” about that movie or the conditions under which it was shot. Annie Sprinkle couldn’t manage some anger for that?
I guess that’s why I really only read the interviews with Diamanda Galas, Karen Finley, and the like when I pull this book off my shelf. There’s nothing wrong with anger. It gets shit done. It moves you to act. When I die, I don’t care if people think I was nice. I care that they remember how passionate I was about making the world a better place. That I didn’t tolerate the abuse and oppression of people I loved or of those I’d never met. That I would rather act according to my conscience than be approved of by others. What’s that old saying? “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” Words to live by.
I wish they’d make another edition of this book with women who are really angry, and not afraid to say so. Someday, I’d like to get the Rock Edition version of the book, with interviews with women like Kathleen Hanna. Women who stood up and screamed–figuratively and literally.