The biggest misconception about hell raising is that you have to be loud and obnoxious…and a man. I totally disagree. Although women usually don’t howl at the moon, get into car wrecks, or start bar fights, they have been known to let their hair down, wink at a few too many guys, and flatten the tires on an ex-boyfriend’s truck. In other words, they raise hell in their own way.
Think about some of the great female hell raisers throughout history. Joan of Arc immediately comes to mind. I mean, at the age of nineteen, the woman raised her sword and took a demoralized country into battle where she eventually won back their freedom. Of course, the British burned her at the stake on trumped up charges afterwards, but she proved her point and that’s what counts.
And who can forget Catherine the Great? Although, I admit that she had a weird fetish with male horses, we have to remember that it was Russia during the 1700s and horses were just as common as cell phones back then. In just a few years, the woman took away the throne from her wimpy husband, then went on to restore Russia to greatness while creating an atmosphere of enlightenment that opened the door for such greats as Voltaire and other Russian names I can’t pronounce. Then there’s Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony…the list goes on.
There are several modern day women that I consider top-notch hell raisers. Rosanne Barr has always made me laugh with her brassy sense of humor and take no prisoners monologue. Drew Barrymore, who was smoking at nine, boozing at eleven, has been to hell and back…and then back again. Then there was the all girl band from the 70s called The Runaways. They proved my theory that if you put more than three teenagers in a cheap motel room at any one time, there will be broken furniture, beer cans and shaving cream shoved into someone’s face before the night is through.
I’m sure you’ve all known one or two rowdy raiserettes in your lifetime. I remember this one gal in my office years ago that had created her own set of hell raising skills. Most Fridays about 4:00, she’d turn up the stereo, dance around the guys’ desks shaking her shoulders and wiggle her way into their funny bones. One time, she lied across a piano and sang Happy Birthday (Marilyn Monroe style) to the President of the company, sultry voice and all. Now that takes balls.
One of my favorite fictitious hell raisers comes from the TV series Better Off Ted. The cute and spunky Linda Swordling made it her mission in life to ‘stick it to the man’ behind corporate America. First, she steals every creamer from the break room for weeks on end just to satisfy her rebel needs. Then, when she discovers that the paper dispenser in the restroom will only release one inch of paper at a time, she sits in front of it and activates it over and over until a roll of paper a mile long fills the bathroom.
Whether it’s loud and obnoxious, or sweet and subtle, it’s still raising hell. And that takes us to another point that I will address in a subsequent blog: Subtleness is sometimes a hell raiser’s biggest asset.
In closing, we have to realize that women approach things differently than men and raising hell is no different. Throughout mankind, women have been the glue that holds society together. That doesn’t mean that they don’t know how to rebel, let loose or tip over a can of whoop ass when needed. They’re just a lot smarter about it.