Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Angry Women, Edited by Andrea Juno and V. Vale

Andrea Juno founded the small, independent press, Juno Books, that printed Angry Women, its sister book, Angry Women in Rock, and many other subculture texts. According to Juno, her goddess namesake encompassed a wide range of female experiences in "lunar/matriarchal times."

Juno Fortuna, Fate; Juno Lucina, Light; Juno Martialis, the Warrior -- to name only a few. Also, every woman had a "juno," which was the name for her soul, just as every man had a "genius." When the solar/patriarchal societies took over the lunar/matriarchal societies, the goddesses became denigrated. Juno became the jealous, hysterical wife...Suddenly Juno is the "property" of Jupiter, inferior to him. (152)

Juno -- Andrea Juno, that is -- and all the Angry Women she interviews in this book make it their primary focus to restore the female goddess to her rightful place. They want to show women -- through visual and performance art, literature, and music -- that we don't need to chase after male genius when we possess our own female junos. To be "angry" in the Junian sense of the word is to be empowered and able to relate to men without needing to take anything away from them.

In terms of style, Juno presents her female subjects in interviews, but the journalism conventions end there. There is nothing objective about Juno's approach, nor even the acknowledgment that maintaining some detachment from one's subject might be desirable. Juno is the first to express and provoke anger, often losing sight of reason along the way. Consider, for example, her statement to Diamanda Galas that "the only form of gun control I would support is that women could own guns and men couldn't" (22).

Angry Woman ignited my thoughts and sparked my passions. And, most importantly, it gave me a phenomenal reading list for delving more deeply into feminist art and literature. If you're a woman, and you're angry -- and if you're a woman, you should be -- get your hands on a copy.

Angry Women. Eds. Andrea Juno and V. Vale. New York: Juno Books, 1991. Print.

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