Revenge is a dish best served... by a woman

Examples abound of gifted goddesses of vengeance, but my approach has always been, frankly, quite rubbish
  • @RebeccaJ

The adage oft repeated in terrible action films and spy thrillers is that revenge is a dish best served cold. I can see the appeal. Few of us have a highly toxic riposte - or, indeed, a flame-thrower - to hand exactly when we need one. I remember a colleague’s partner attacking a love rival with a soap dispenser once, and, years later, I remain impressed by her quick thinking. My approach to revenge has always been, frankly, quite rubbish. Oh, I have a mental ledger of those who have sinned against me, and I have spent many 3am moments thinking how I could pay back the worst offenders, but really, who, in the normal run of things, has the energy for a sustained campaign of comeuppance?

It turns out that alpha females, who are already used to getting up early to rock their industries and raise their families, do. We know that economist and ex-con Vicky Pryce went properly nuclear when her husband Chris Huhne mogged off with his aide, resulting in wrecked political careers, a family torn asunder and custodial sentences. Now she’s on the other side of prison, though, her post-scandal poise - writing “Prisonomics”, a part memoir, part investigation of the impact of prison on economics, donating the proceeds to charity, emerging tougher, wiser and tight-lipped on her former marriage - seems utterly serene. Pryce’s revenge rampage seems to have made her even more impressive (and the woman has held mega-jobs, speaks four languages and has five children) than before.

Tamara Mellon OBE, glamazon business woman and the millionaire behind Jimmy Choo shoes, is also proving that high-profile revenge is big for a/w 2013. Her new book “In My Shoes: A Memoir” is a massive UP YOURS to her mother, ex-husband, financial backers and anyone else who didn’t toe the Tamara line. Her way of dealing with a psycho mum/junkie ex/bloody sucking venture capitalists? Sick them in print, then give charmingly calm interviews about the whole shebang. While still making fortunes in fashion. I wouldn’t take her on, but my god she’s exhilarating in her approach to enemy-emasculation.

Then there’s Mia Farrow. Actress of a generation, play girl, style icon, mother of biological, adopted and fostered children. And avenging angel of revenge. Years after Woody Allen betrayed her with her adopted daughter (a situation I still find too horrible to try and process), she dropped a bomb this month in Vanity Fair by saying that the father of her son Ronan is “possibly” Frank Sinatra, rather than Allen. Wow. Talk about keeping your powder dry. These women are revenge goddesses (but I’m still quite glad I’m a mere mortal in the getting-back game).