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Time to acknowledge women’s dark side

6 mins read

Recently, there’s been an improving production of vicious women in the entertainment industry. Showing the world that is not only men who are capable of ingenious chaos.

Villainous women are now more than “bitches”. Modern writing has given them more depth, they’re no longer just pretty and mean.

It’s an important step forward because women are often disregarded as emotional and quick acting.

However, writers such as Gillian Flynn have revamped this perception.

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Or perhaps has just shown the true capability of women. By writing characters such as the picture-perfect Amy Dunne, who is actually a terrifying psychopath. She gave her character a purpose and a frighteningly detailed plan.

Instead of making the plot an emotional rampage.

A woman on screen extract justice for herself is refreshing. Especially when it’s done with such a detailed account of why. It doesn’t show a woman who has one thing done to her and is angered, it shows the capability of an intelligent and patient woman.

None of what Amy Dune does is moral, but that’s not the point.

What’s shown is a woman outsmarting everyone. Someone who is cold and calculated in her vengeance.

Unfortunately, ‘Gone Girl’ is criticised for stereotyping the “crazy girl” because it looks beyond the genius of what is happening.

Because if Amy Dune was a man; she would be worshipped.

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What she achieved would be seen as intellectually genius. There’s a lack of powerful female villains on television and in literature. Yes, there’s plenty of ill-tempered or dramatic bad girls who want to cause hell.

But there is little representation for the truly wicked women. The ones who want more than chaos, the ones who want results. Women who can install fear in audiences like male villains such as Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates.

Women like hit drama Killing Eve’s Villanelle. A psychopathic assassin with a taste for expensive things. She is a ruthless woman willing to do it all to climb the ladder of power.

A woman who is entirely cunning and not ashamed of it.

She represents a lot about women. Including a shamelessness for wanting nice things and a broad creativity that earns her results.

Often applied during her murderous sprees, but still outstanding.

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Showing women through different lenses is a step forward. Allowing audiences to understand that women are just as capable as men is exciting. It’s refreshing to see women who want something different from the typical feminine desires.

Like creating a family or needing to be saved.

Little has there been a female villain who is celebrated for being ruthless. There needs to be more unlikable female characters; not all need to be a role model. Maybe this is time to understand women have a dark side just as men do.

Not all women strive to be family makers and justice fighters.

There needs to be more representation of women who don’t want to be heroes. The ones who have suffered and been broken by their experiences.

Those who have dark tendencies that they’re strong enough to give into rather than pull from.

Women who want to feel hurt and not care who sees.

There’s been a pressure for women to conform to the rules. Women should want specific things; to win, to achieve, to strive. But must abide by all the rules to do it, to only take necessary risks.

Whereas men are celebrated for being reckless and winning.

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Not all women are soft-toned and looking for other opinions. Women can be cold and outspoken; we don’t have to be inviting to everyone. It’s a privilege when a woman extends her courtesy, not a luxury for all to expect.

The boundaries need to be broken. Women are more than homemakers and do-gooding heroines fighting for change. They are more than just wanting to have fun and rioting.

There is potential for women in writing to be brutal and complex enough to leave audiences reeling.

Acknowledging damaged and twisted women is long overdue. Welcome more villainous women and even anti-heroines is warranted.

The world should see damaged women who want to hurt back. Women who have every reason to hate their lives and want to break everything around them. 

Invite all characteristics of women into the world. Not just the good and socially accepted types. Allow women to be portrayed as diversely as men have been in entertainment. Let them be vicious like men can be, let them have opportunities to be good and throw them away.

It’s not about representation; it’s about reality. That women can be cruel and good. Allowing this to be seen balances the playing field for men and women.

Men don’t always have to be the villain, and women don’t need to be the well-intentioned do-gooders.

Featured image credit: Pinterest.co.uk

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