Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Examination of a Phrase

Apropos of nothing in particular, I've always been amused by the prevalence of the phrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." The phrase is amusing to me on several levels.

First, that it seeks to excuse some kind of behavior. Does it aim to make it okay for a woman to fly off the handle because someone denied her or betrayed her? That's a horrible double standard.

Second, it's rather sexist, really, which just makes it that much funnier when a woman might hold the phrase over your head. It seems to suggest that a woman who has been spurned is more likely to exhibit some petty emotional reaction or plot some kind of hurt-filled revenge. Women are no more likely to this behavior than any given man. It's just a poor standard to hold.

Lastly, it's incomplete. It's only the second part of a full quote. And in my opinion the weaker of the two. The full line is "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." Now, for me, I think the notion of heavenly rage is a far more disturbing and scary one. No one is shocked when the forces of evil or corruption gives into temper or hate. But when a force of good and/or order unleashes its wrath, it is a far more noteworthy example.

Before anyone starts giving away knowing or worried glances, this entry isn't some kind of subtle warning. I've always wondered and pondered about the phrasing and its usage. Granted, recent events might have brought such feelings out in me, I am not a woman scorned, nor am I inclined to bring rage, heavenly or otherwise, against anyone.

I just have too much time on my hands to think in between classes, maybe. Heh.

now that-that-that that don't kill me

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