Like many couples, my parents liked to travel when they were younger. (They still liked to travel as they got older but, well, they had kids.) During a trip to the Bahamas, Dad decided to rent a bright red motorized scooter and, being a young man in a tropical paradise with a beautiful young woman (my mother) with him, he got carried away. He went too fast around a corner at the top of a hill, and my mother flew off the back of the scooter while my dad fell down the hill.

Nobody was hurt, but my mom was hopping mad. She picked herself up and started raining verbal fire down the hill. A couple of local guys were walking by the bottom, and they exchanged glances with my father. “You better stay down here with us, brother.”

My dad always said that though the three of them were from different worlds – a white lawyer from Maine, and two black fishermen from the Bahamas – they were all united in that moment; all knew exactly what was going on and exactly how scared my dad was of walking back up the hill to face his fiery (and, appropriately, redheaded) wife.

Men are inherently scared of women’s anger. I think that’s why they often laugh at it. After all, if Harry Potter and the boggarts of the wizarding world have taught us anything, it is that laughter is an effective remedy to banish fear.

I’m rarely taken seriously when I get angry, probably because I’m small and round and my face turns splotchy pink. My voice gets higher and higher the more upset I am, too, and can end up at an octave that pierces the ears and gives you a headache. Shrill, is the term. I have a shrill voice. Shrieky.

I’ve been asked if I am angry because I’m on my period. The answer is usually “no,” but sometimes it’s “yes,” and that anger should be taken as seriously as any other. Men would be pissed off if their internal organs were staining their pants, too.

Men’s anger is scary. It’s destructive. When men yell, most of us cringe, because we’re scared of what they might do. Will they hit? Stab? Shoot? Rape?

Not to say that women can’t commit acts of violence. They can and they do, and those crimes are just as horrific.

But far more often it is men who lash out at others in rage. Women tend to turn their anger inward. And when we do express anger, we’re often treated like one might treat a small, fluffy dog barking at the doorbell. Head-patting, “there, there, nothing to worry about. Now be quiet.”

I’ve been seeing a lot of headlines about angry women lately. Women are the ones being sexually harassed and then accused of lying about it. Women are the ones taking their kids to doctor’s appointments and watching the co-pays and prescription prices tick up and up and up. Women are the ones picking up their kids from crumbling, underfunded schools, where they have spent the day undergoing school-shooter drills.

Women’s anger can be constructive, and now the anger is starting to turn outward in ways that it hasn’t before, not on this scale. Women are doing things with this anger. Marching. Protesting. Running for office. Fundraising.

The pink pussy hats may look silly, but I’m a cat owner, and I can testify that you do not want to deal with an angry cat, no matter how silly the cat usually is. Cats have a surprising number of sharp, pointy bits that hurt when they dig in.

Regardless of their political beliefs, women are angry that their elected representatives and leaders sit around and grandstand all day instead of actually legislating. There are things that need to be done, problems to be solved, budgets to timetable. If the men won’t do it, you better bet the women sure will.

There are currently 107 women serving in the United States Congress, and 428 men. Can you imagine what 428 women (and 107 men) running the country would be like? Does it make you scared? Excited? Angry?

Women’s anger has been dismissed and laughed at, but not for much longer.

Men had better be careful how they navigate corners in the future. You don’t want to be left standing at the bottom of the hill.

Victoria Hugo-Vidal is a Maine millennial. She can be contacted at:

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Twitter: @mainemillennial