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Unsolicited revenge fantasies

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Unsolicited revenge fantasies silence complaints of sexism by decentering the feelings of the woman who experienced the sexism and framing the range of "appropriate" responses to the sexist incident.

  • Responding with revenge fantasies invalidates a woman's feelings of sadness or vulnerability or anger (without vengefulness) or any of a wide range of possible emotional responses
  • Revenge fantasies may be upsetting or triggering to marginalized people, who may have experienced violence personally or against a loved one in the name of "revenge"
  • Revenge fantasies are usually extremely impractical; for instance, responding to office microaggressions with violence is impractical and would harm the marginalized person more than the sexist
    • Because revenge fantasies are so impractical, they can make the marginalized person feel that what they actually experienced and described went unheard
  • Related to Unsolicited advice


  • "I would have kicked him in the balls!"
  • "I hope he dies in a fire!"
  • "People like that deserve a Biblical plague."

Further reading

Why don't you just hit him? by Mary Gardiner

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