She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

The documentary She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry was first shown to me in my Anthropology of Social Movements class last semester. This film traces the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s and 1970s, specifically focusing on activist groups like the National Organization for Women (NOW) and Black Sisters United. The collection of women interviewed for this film were part of these groups as well as leaders of lesbian activism sects and the writers of Our Bodies, Ourselves. When reading Betty Friedan’s except from The Feminine Mystique, this documentary automatically came to mind as women were arguing for equal rights not only inside the home as mothers, but also in economics and education. But I also found this documentary very interesting because of how it addressed the intersectionality of race and gender in this period of the women’s rights movement, such as Bell Hooks writes about in Black Women: Shaping Feminist Theory. Hooks states that Friedan “ignored the existence of all non-white women and poor white women” the same way that many African American and lesbian women saw “feminist radicalism [lose] ground to bourgeois feminism.” Lesbians at the time were also rebelling against compulsory heterosexuality and male identification as they felt they had a right to voice their opinion in the women’s liberation movement as shown in the documentary. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry shows the dynamic intersectionality of race, class, and gender during the women’s right movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s.