Jessica Jones and the Superhuman Power of Female Anger

Pop Culture

Jessica Jones and the Superhuman Power of Female Anger

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza


here’s a remarkably powerful moment in the second season of Netflix’s Jessica Jones that serves as the war cry for the show. In a subplot that mirrors real life, its eponymous lead Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) confronts Max Tatum, the sleazy Hollywood director who sexually exploited Trish Walker, her adopted sister/best friend at the beginning of her acting career in exchange for roles. Trish was a minor then. The scene comes moments after Trish is forced to confront her own past that explores how trauma sparks unbridled rage in women.

Enraged at Max, Jessica pushes him around, pinning him to the hood of his car. Cowering in fear he asks her, “What the hell are you?” “I’m angry,” she replies, relaxed as the calm before the storm, before picking him up and punching a hole in the car. This moment crowns Jessica as the reel-life female superhero of the #MeToo movement, as the context and her words echo what women around the world have been feeling since last year (although the show was written months before the Harvey Weinstein exposé).