When TV Becomes a Window Into Women’s Rage
In other instances of female rage within the home, there are sometimes comical collateral damage. In Season 1 of “Dead to Me,” Jen, a widowed mother with an attitude problem, expresses her anger at her mother-in-law by punching a cake she received in memory of her late husband. hit the In Mad Men, 1960s housewife Betty Draper, embroiled in a marriage of malice and deceit, stands in her garden in a peach nightgown, rifle pointed at the sky. Each time she bends her polished fingers in her pink claws, she shoots her birds and calls out to her in her terror as her terrified neighbors watch. . She continued to fire her gun with a cigarette hanging from her mouth.
A woman’s anger can be heroic. Whether you’re the Hulk or Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) hitting a wall in Anger Management Class. It can be a barometer of what is sorely wrong in a world where women have been taken for granted. Consider the angry face of Elisabeth Moss as the misogynistic dystopian Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale. Or the wrath of the ill-fated footballer in the “Yellowjackets”. Alternatively, in “The Power,” young women gifted with magic use their abilities, sometimes for self-defense or revenge.
Women can be outraged over privilege, like Renata Klein (Laura Dern), the reputation- and money-obsessed mother of Big Little Lies, or the murderer Dre (Dominic Dane) of Swarm. They may also rage against violent passions, such as Fishback. Anger can often be a last resort, a way for women to finally get what they desperately wanted: catharsis, revenge, justice, peace. Whether or not that satisfaction will last, however, is another matter entirely.
These scenes and stories are not about anger per se, they are about empowering women to speak, act, protect themselves and others, and express their uncomfortable feelings. Be unattractive and ruthless. Because all a woman has to do to change her world, for better or worse, is open her mouth and let out a mean, uncontrollable scream.
Image credits: “Fleishman Is in Trouble” (FX); “She-Hulk: Lawyer” (Marvel Studios/Disney+); “Aggressive Retsuko” (Netflix). “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu). “Yellowjackets” (Showtime) “Yellowjackets” (Showtime) “Medusa”, 1597 (Caravaggio, Uffizi Gallery, Florence). “Yellowjackets” (Showtime) “Beef” (Netflix); “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (Marvel Studios) “Jessica Jones” (Netflix); “Blindspotting” (Stars); “Dead to Me” (Netflix); “The Power” (Amazon Prime Video) “Swarm” (Amazon Prime Video); “Big Little Lies” (HBO) “Mad Men” (AMC).