Finally, angry women are the solution and not a problem – but we still have far to go | Emilie Pine

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With movements like #MeToo and #WhyIDidn’tReport, it seems the world has woken up – but the stories we tell still punish women who speak out

I’m aware of the consequences for women who go off-script. When I published a book earlier this year – six personal essays about all the things we’re not meant to say – I was fearful of the public response, afraid of being labelled disruptive. And I have been – but mostly in a good way. Every day I get emails from readers thanking me for talking about alcoholism, infertility and sexual violence.

One of the few negative reactions came from a radio journalist, who questioned how –not why – I’d chosen to write about having been raped when I was 15. Why hadn’t I put the description of the rape at the beginning of the book, he asked, to “hit people between the eyes”? I was taken aback by his question, and after the interview I found I couldn’t let it go. Why had he asked me that? And why had he asked me live on air? His question suggested that the only reason I could possibly have to describe being raped was so I could use it as a weapon. All the emotions I had – fury, sadness, regret and fear – were reduced to one: anger. It’s as if there’s a new script: the angry woman script. And I’m not sure that I like this one, either.

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