I remember once being asked if I was “one of those” feminists by a guy I was (regrettably) getting involved with about 5 years ago. I was unsure what he meant by “one of those”, but I could tell that his tone was meant to be derogatory. “One of those” feminists? Who are we? Where have we come from? Who are our foremothers? What battles have we fought, as women? What battles are we still fighting?
And what’s wrong with “those” feminists, anyway?
Not a damn thing.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is a documentary film created by women, for women. Director Mary Wore brings forth a genuinely visceral and emotional piece. I suggest this film to every woman who wants to know where she came from, and what battles have been fought for (and won) in her honor. I would also suggest this film to men to educate them on our history, and to show that we are not a defeated people. Politicians can propose as many extreme anti-choice bills threatening our right to our bodily autonomy as they want, but we have a voice. We’re going to use it.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry will enrage you when you see the opposition our sisters before us struggled against. It will also inspire you when you see the heart and spirit of these trailblazing women, and the sisterhood they started that we all belong to. You will see the strength in numbers, and the strength in these individuals. While these women fought for themselves and the future of womankind, there is still a lot of work left to do. I dream of a day where my right to my bodily autonomy isn’t constantly being threatened by male politicians. I long for the day when among the first line of questioning to a rape victim are queries as to what she was wearing, if she was drinking, if she was flirting, or any other excuse men are given to absolve themselves (and other men) from responsibility for their actions.
A pinnacle moment of the film is footage of the moment when women snuck into the balcony at the 1969 Miss America pageant and unfurled a banner that read in bold letters “WOMEN’S LIBERATION”. It brought the cause to the forefront. It made them look, and actually see us. It made them hear our rallying cry.
Women have done great things, and are doing great things, and will continue to do great things. Join the fight! Be “one of” those feminists – because when you fight for one of us, you will fight for all of us.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is available for streaming on Netflix.
Ashley Hesse is a 20-something writer/musician and women’s rights activist. She is a former beauty/special FX makeup artist who put down the makeup brushes and raised her fist in solidarity to help fight the social injustices against women all over the world. When she’s not crusading for social justice and defeating bigotry in all its forms, she also enjoys feeding her soul with musical theatre, red lipstick and Ghirardelli brownies.