"Good and Mad": This Book Shows the Power of Female Rage


Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger is a book by Rebecca Traister that tackles the white male patriarchy with images of enraged women. Oftentimes when women express their anger, they are ridiculed for being too emotional or unappealing. Traister challenges this notion, showing the power of female rage. Featuring artworks from the seventeenth to twentieth century, each represents women taking control of their own authority. One of the earlier works, Elisabetta Sirani, Timoclea Killing Her Rapist, 1659, depicts Timoclea pushing an army captain who raped her down a well, physically and mentally taking over the patriarchy. In the era of #MeToo, the art history of powerful women, and their rage is as appropriate to showcase as ever.

For Further Reading:

Rebecca Traister is a New York Times bestselling author who explores feminism and activism in her work. Read here for more information on Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger.


Discussion Question:

Have you ever been called “too hysterical” for voicing your opinion? Why are powerful women often looked down upon for expressing their voices passionately?


Action Item:

Look through the pieces of art in Traister’s book. Find one where you connect with the women or subject being used to represent female rage. Ask yourself what the subject is thinking and if you have ever been in a similar situation.


Read more on Artsy | Image: Elisabetta Sirani, Timoclea Killing Her Rapist, 1659. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.