The Ultimate Guide To Being A Delightfully Bad Woman

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confident woman posing outside by wall

I get lots of hate mail.

And I’d lie if I said it doesn’t affect me at all. It does a bit.

However, after a few years of reading more or less the same message from angry male specimens all over the world blaming me for the ills of modern society, I kind of got used to it, you know?

But recently, my boyfriend also got one.

Yup, someone went through the trouble of going through my social media accounts just to find him — and trust me, it isn’t that easy — only to write a lengthy message urging him to… break up with me.

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Because apparently, I’m a really, really bad and nasty and hateful woman who just wants to corrupt others and set the whole world on fire.

Well, what can I say? It’s true. I am a Bad Woman™.

I missed every single one of my state-mandated lobotomy appointments and Good Girl™ seminars, and this is the result. But hey, at least now I can teach others and hopefully, with enough Bad Women™ in this world, my dream of societal collapse will soon come true.

If you'd like to be a delightfully bad woman, here’s all you need to do:

Stop seeking male validation

Look, I get it.

Ever since we were little, we were taught that women’s primary role in this society is to make men happy. And so unsurprisingly, once we grow up — and especially when we’re younger — male validation seems to be all that’s on our minds.

We frantically shave our legs and armpits and other body parts because having hair there is ‘unnatural’ and ‘gross’ but not when it comes to the exact same parts on the male body.

We starve ourselves and do makeup every day and pick up uncomfortable but flattering outfits and always laugh at men’s jokes and never say ‘no’ and pretend to like whatever we like, and maybe even dumb ourselves down from time to time.

After all, we don’t want to seem too intimidating but also not too ‘manly’ or too ‘girly’. No, we must learn to walk a thin line between being ‘feminine’ enough to be desirable but not too ‘feminine’ because that’s synonymous with being idiotic and weak. (Thanks to the good, old sexism.)

Now, forget about all of that.

Seriously, just carve out the part of your brain conditioned to believe that performing this little dancy dance of being a Cool Good Girl™ is doing you any favors. It’s really not.

And then, once it’s out, smash it with a hammer.

Claim your right to anger

One of the best marketing scams in history is men successfully convincing everyone that ‘anger’ is not an emotion.

And so they can be as angry as they’d like and punch holes in walls when their sports team loses or when a woman dares to tell them ‘no’ and no one will call them ‘emotional.’

No, that word is reserved only for women.

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After all, according to a bunch of — *checks notes* — ancient Greeks, we’re the hysterical gender. And if something has been a part of common knowledge for such a long time, then it must be true even if it was debunked by modern studies, right?

However, while we can be as emotional as we want, we don’t get to be angry. Or even just outspoken. Because that makes us seem unlikeable, impolite, b*tchy, irksome, unattractive, aggressive, and crazy.

But if you really want to be a Bad Woman™, you have to throw this thinking out of the door and unleash the anger I’m fairly certain you’ve been putting aside all these years.

No, I’m not an empath or a psychic. I just read the news. And last time I checked, there’s more than plenty to be angry about today if you’re a woman.

In some places, corpses have more bodily autonomy than us, and rapists get to choose their children’s mothers. (Yes, I’m looking at you, America.) In some others, women have no choice but to be stay-at-home breeding machines. And in most parts of the world — even the seemingly progressive ones — women continue to be treated like second-class citizens.

So if that makes you angry — as it should — be angry. Complain. Use your voice. Be loud.

You have every right and reason to do that.

Say ‘no’ as much as you’d like

The issue with existing as a woman in this world is that it’s not exactly as simple as just being expected to please men. Oh, no. We’re also expected to please society. (Which is dominated by men, but still.)

And if you dare to ignore that, well.

Don’t act surprised when you’re going to be judged and shamed and eventually burnt at the stake on a random sunny Friday afternoon, alright?

But the worst thing is, that doesn’t only apply to our behavior. No, that also applies to things that really shouldn’t be anybody else’s business but our own — like getting married, having children, or staying home to raise them.

We’re still largely expected to say ‘yes’ to all that because ‘that’s how we’ve always done it’ or because the definitely-not-misogynistic Male God demands it or simply because we’re… women.

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And that’s our ‘womanly’ duty.


But neither of these are good enough reasons to put your body through the hardship of nine months of pregnancy and risk your own life and health or to sacrifice your dreams and ambitions at the altar of patriarchal expectations.

So say ‘no’ as much as you’d like.

Because life is way too short to live according to other people’s expectations — especially men’s — of what a woman ought to be and do.

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Don’t let what people think hold you back

I have to say; this is a tough one.

Even if you try your hardest to be a Bad Woman™, there’ll likely always be a voice in your head telling you that perhaps it’s not worth it. To be called and perceived as selfish, awful, unpleasant, and whatnot for simply trying to go your own way.

Besides, maybe ancient Greeks were actually right, and our wombs do wander around our bodies rendering us clinically insane.

Maybe Eve wasn’t just a product of some goat-herder's imagination, and we’re all indeed cursed to live a life in pain and perpetual servitude to men?

It’s arguably much easier to go along with this charade and give the people what they want and be agreeable and pleasant and easy-going and has no boundaries and put others’ needs and feelings above our own.

But here’s the thing.

Generation after generation of women simply had no other choice but to follow through with whatever society expected of them. Even today, many still don’t have that choice.

Sure, they can try saying ‘no’ to their abusive partners, and they’d likely escape the situation. In a casket.

But many of us do have the choice.

And we can choose to finally break that cycle.

All while keeping in mind that whatever someone has to say about us isn’t necessarily a reflection of us not being ‘good’ enough. But instead, their preferences are likely influenced by sexist myths, prejudices, and double binds our society is still very much riddled with.

So, let me recap.

Being a Bad Woman™ means you’re not trying to live life to please anyone else. You live it on your own terms. You’re not afraid to express your opinions or be angry. You say ‘no’ and set boundaries.

Oh, wait.

It’s almost like that’s exactly how many men are, yet no one has a problem with that. And I doubt that any women are urging their girlfriends or wives to break up with them over it.

Strange, isn’t it?

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Katie Jgln is a writer, satirist, social scientist, and activist whose work covers gender equality issues, pop culture, and trending news. She has bylines in Scary Mommy, Daily Mail, and others.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.