“I see a woman may be made a fool,
If she had not a spirit to resist.”
― William Shakespeare,
Oxford English Dictionary defines a shrew as “A person, esp. (now only) a woman given to railing or scolding or other perverse or malignant behaviour; freq. a scolding or turbulent wife.” (It also defines it as a small furry rodent, but I guess Shakespeare didn’t take that into account).
I find it interesting that a word so small and tame can speak so negatively to one specific gender, and only that gender. So many words are used in this way, to directly and insistently denigrate and demean one specific portion of the population. I recognize my privilege to have been born a certain ethnicity that doesn’t necessarily get hit with insults. My gender, however, oh what another story.
I’ve been called bitch, whore, I’ve had my looks insulted (or criticized in a ‘well-meaning’ way like “you could be so pretty if…”), I’ve been spoken over, interrupted, disregarded and valued less than my male compatriots.
And yet, I don’t shut up. I have a lot to say. Some of it might be worthwhile (probably not, I tend to ramble), so I’ve decided to start this blog to just let it all out. Mostly so I can stop filling my phone with random notes and half-thoughts.
Am I a shrew? Maybe. But like a slut-walk, a bitch-fest or another feminist act of strength… I’m taking it back.
Petrucchio be damned, Katarina got shafted.