Canada has a passive-aggressive culture, with a lot of sarcasm and righteousness. That went with my weird messianic complex. The ego is a fascinating monster. I was taught from a young age that I had to serve, so that turned into me thinking I had to save the planet.
When I was producing on my own, I was doing it in order to - in a very patriarchal entertainment industry, let alone planet - very much hell-bent on trying to prove to myself, if nothing else, that I could do it as a woman.
We're taught to be ashamed of confusion, anger, fear and sadness, and to me they're of equal value to happiness, excitement and inspiration.
When I was younger, I was terrified to express anger because it would often kick-start a horrible reaction in the men in my life. So I bit my tongue. I was left to painstakingly deal with the aftermath of my avoidance later in life, in therapy or through the lyrics of my songs.
When someone says that I'm angry it's actually a compliment. I have not always been direct with my anger in my relationships, which is part of why I'd write about it in my songs because I had such fear around expressing anger as a woman.
Anger has been a really big deal for women: how can we express it without feeling that, as the physically weaker sex, we won't get killed. The alpha-woman was burned at the stake and had her head chopped off in days of old.
What influenced me was Tori Amos, who was unapologetic about expressing anger through music, and Sinead O'Connor. Those two in particular were really moving for me, and very inspiring, before I wrote 'Jagged Little Pill.'
It's a joke to think that anyone is one thing. We're all such complex creatures. But if I'm going to be a poster child for anything, anger's a gorgeous emotion. It gets a bad rap, but it can make great changes happen.
My own approach has always been to push intense emotions down and attempt to deal with them later. When I was younger, I was terrified to express anger because it would often kick-start a horrible reaction in the men in my life.
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