Image: Jessica Diaz-Hurtado/NPR
In the seventh century B.C., the poet Semonides of Amorgos wrote a catalog of unmanageable women – from the yapping dogs, who won’t shut up even if you knock their teeth out, to the bee, who’s industrious, devoted and, most importantly, fertile.
Now, 3,000 years later, everything is different, and nothing is different.
In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, cultural critic Anne Helen Petersen has written her own catalog of unruly women: celebrities and other cultural figures who have been called too strong, too fat, too gross, too slutty, too old, too pregnant, too shrill, too queer, too loud and too naked for uncomplicated cultural acceptance. “Each of these women is constantly igniting the line of acceptable behavior,” she writes. “You don’t know where it is until she steps over it, at which point it bursts into flames.”