featherxquill: (Red Shoes)
So, new meme entry, finally. ToM kind of ate my life. I did nothing productive for a number of days, just read and read and read.

Already answered )

9. Someone sexy


~ Dita Von Teese ~

So there are a lot of women I think are sexy, but 'sexy' for an individual is quite subjective, isn't it? So for this prompt I wanted to pick a woman who, while she doesn't necessarily conform to modern ideals of beauty, definitely embodies a timeless sort of sexiness, and sells it as her image. I wanted to pick a woman who is not devalued by being sexually objectified, but who owns and has control over her sexuality and the depiction of it.

So, Dita Von Teese. Fetish/glamour model and Burlesque performer (and what performance emphasises 'sexy' over 'sexual' better than Burlesque?). Costume designer, tight-lacer, businesswoman. Dita's sexy image is what she sells, and she combines it with what she loves - vintage costume and old world glamour. She is, to my mind, a gorgeous example of someone who is empowered by being looked at, rather than becoming an object of male gaze.

A few more pics, possibly NSFW )

Still to come )
featherxquill: (Miranda Peace Bitch)
Already answered )

8. Someone bitchy


~ Every Character Cornelia Frances has ever played ~

Including Herself, as a matter of fact. Cornelia Frances is an English-born Australian actress who is famous for her bitches, including Morag Bellingham on Home and Away, Sister Grace Scott in The Young Doctors ('strict and acidic', according to Wikipedia and clips that I've seen), Marie in the Australian stage production of Calendar Girls earlier this year (a role that was considerably rewritten for Cornelia's particular brand of authoritative bitchiness), and 'Herself' as a bitch, when she hosted Australia's version of The Weakest Link.

This woman has made a career out of being a bitch, and she's awesome at it, let me tell you. The woman herself, though, not so much. I read her biography 'And What Have You Done Lately?' when I was fifteen, and proceeded to write her a long-winded and probably kind of flaily fan letter. About a week later, I received a hand-written response. She is awesome ♥.

I could talk about how hilarious/fantastic Cornelia's bitches are, but I'd much rather show you. I've quite enjoyed watching some clips of her that some kind soul posted on Youtube. There's an entire playlist here, but here are some of my faves:

Two more under the cut )

Still to come )
featherxquill: (Find X)
Already answered )

7. Someone funny


Judith Lucy

Australians are usually pretty good at being funny, but one thing we don't have a lot of is female comedians. Comedy seems to be a fairly male dominated business across the board, but Britain and the US, at least, seem to have fairly high-profile female comedians - French and Saunders in the UK, people like Ellen Degeneres and all the SNL girls in the US - but Australia not so much. And so today I want to tell you guys about Judith Lucy, who is one of the few well-known female comedians in Australia.

Bio from her website:

Judith Lucy is one of Australia’s most popular comedians.

Her work in radio, television, film and her sell out national tours have made Judith Lucy a household name.

She first hit the scene in 1989 as a stand-up but sprang to national prominence in 1993 as part of the cast of ABC TV’s, The Late Show. She did a tour of duty on Triple J and was a regular on Martin/Molloy. Her live stage shows have been what has set Judith apart. Since her 1996 hit, King of the Road Judith has been a regular fixture on the live scene, selling out big rooms with her sharply observed and honest personal monologues.

In 2004 Judith Lucy was announced as the host of the 2DAY-FM Breakfast Show in Sydney, and was famously demoted and sacked the following year, which became the subject of Judith’s biggest tours, I Failed, which toured Australia in 2006.

Judith has also spent time contributing features and columns for the likes of The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Madison Magazine.

‘The Lucy Family Alphabet’ was Judith’s attempt at writing about her nutty Irish parents as three dimensional people while also touching upon the discovery, at age 25, that she was adopted. The book was a roaring success and garnered countless reviews, as well as topping bestseller lists in 2008.

2009 will see Judith back on the stage, with her new solo show “Judith Lucy’s Not Getting Any Younger” This will be Judith’s ninth solo show, her first live tour since 2006 and marks her twentieth anniversary as a stand up comedian.

Her particular brand of no-holds-barred, self depreciating and often intensely personal humour is what, I think, makes her stand out so much. I saw her live once and loved the show to bits.

Two videos under the cut )

Still to come )
featherxquill: (Default)
Already answered )

6. A goddess


~ Medusa ~

Although Medusa could arguably be called a monster rather than a goddess, I think the title fits well enough. I remember first reading the myth of Medusa when I was in primary school, and thinking she was awesome. Because she was a girl, and she was scary and powerful. Also, snakes for hair. Fuck yeah.

Some thoughts on the Deeper Meanings of the Medusa Myth from this website:

Many have connected Medusa with sexuality, men as well as women. Freud, as you might expect, was one such theorist, linking her to the male fear of castration. Earlier, Goethe and Dante both interpreted Medusa as a dangerous seductive force to be resisted. One feminist perspective is that Medusa represents the personification of rape. Another feminist perspective, put forth by Page DuBois in her 1988 book Sewing the Body: Psychoanalysis and Ancient Representations of Women, is that Medusa symbolizes women's subversive, self-sufficient sexuality.

But the most horrifying psychosexual explanation, detailed among other places by Ellen D. Reeder in her 1996 book Pandora: Women in Classical Greece, is that the fundamental meaning of Medusa is a symbol of male fear of devouring female sexual potency. Building upon Freud's earlier thinking, Reeder theorized that Medusa's snaky locks represent pubic hair, her face female genitalia. In the mythology, Reeder points out, only men are turned into stone by gazing at Medusa.

This has to do, according to Barbara G. Walker in her 1983 book The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, with what's been termed the "toothed vagina." This symbol of biting, devouring female sexuality is thought have originated with the primordial fear that a woman's privates might amputate a man's privates during sex. This superstition, according to Walker, has existed in many different cultures around the world throughout history, among other places in China, Polynesia, Persia, the Islamic world, and medieval Christianity. And perhaps, even if subliminally, it existed in ancient Greece and Rome as well.

The psychosexual explanation ties in with how the Medusa image was used in patriarchal Greece and Rome. It could well be, at least on some level, that it's behind the fright caused by looking at the Medusa image and why men placed it on their armor when fighting other men and on coins when trading with other men.

Still to come )
featherxquill: (Stock torso model)
Okay, so I haven't actually been posting an entry for this meme every day. That's because these entries are fa more time consuming than I expected them to be! But I will sure as hell get through all thirty :)

Already answered )

5. A fighter


~ Olivia Benson ~

Olivia Benson is a wonderful character. She's the heart of Law and Order: SVU. She's compassionate ad understanding - her ability to empathise with the victims is what makes her such a brilliant SVU detective. She's tough and opinionated. She'll chase down a perp with every bit as much fervour as the boys on her team. She has rescued her partner and been rescued by him in equal measure. She's a beautiful woman - the show couldn't hide that Mariska Hargitay is gorgeous if it tried - and she is occasionally sexy, but it is never at the expense of her agency. Most of all, she's passionate about what she does, and she never, ever stops fighting for the victim, even if it gets her into hot water. She kicks some serious arse.

Still to come )
featherxquill: (Stock torso model)
Already answered )

3. A leader


~ Alice Paul ~

This might be a name and a story that all the American members of my flist know from school, but this is a woman I only learned about when I watched the film linked at the end of this post. There are plenty of women in all countries who fought for the right to vote, but I find this story particularly affecting.

From Wikipedia:

Alice Paul received her undergraduate education from Swarthmore College, and then earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Shortly after her graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, Paul joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and was appointed Chairwoman of their Congressional Committee in Washington, DC. After months of fundraising and raising awareness for the cause, membership numbers went up in 1913. Their focus was lobbying for a constitutional amendment to secure the right to vote for women. Such an amendment had originally been sought by suffragists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who tried securing the vote on a state-by-state basis.

When their lobbying efforts proved fruitless, Paul and her colleagues formed the National Woman's Party (NWP) in 1916 and began introducing some of the methods used by the suffrage movement in Britain. Tactics included demonstrations, parades, mass meetings, picketing, suffrage watch fires, and hunger strikes. These actions were accompanied by press coverage and the publication of the weekly Suffragist.

In the US presidential election of 1916, Paul and the NWP campaigned against the continuing refusal of President Woodrow Wilson and other incumbent Democrats to support the Suffrage Amendment actively. In January 1917, the NWP staged the first political protest to picket the White House. The picketers, known as "Silent Sentinels," held banners demanding the right to vote. This was an example of a non-violent civil disobedience campaign. In July 1917, picketers were arrested on charges of "obstructing traffic." Many, including Paul, were convicted and incarcerated at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia (later the Lorton Correctional Complex) and the District of Columbia Jail. In a protest of the conditions in Occoquan, Paul commenced a hunger strike, which led to her being moved to the prison’s psychiatric ward and force-fed raw eggs through a plastic tube. This, combined with the continuing demonstrations and attendant press coverage, kept pressure on the Wilson administration. In January, 1918, Wilson announced that women's suffrage was urgently needed as a "war measure", and strongly urged Congress to pass the legislation. In 1920, after coming down to one vote in the state of Tennessee, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution secured the vote for women.

See also: Iron Jawed Angels

If you enjoy the trailer, click through to Youtube and the 'related videos' should link you to the full film uploaded there.

Still to come )
featherxquill: (Endora sly)
1. Someone you've loved since you were little


~ Endora ~

Endora is one of the characters I have loved since I was a little girl. Along with The Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz, I credit her as my 'first favourite witch'. I used to dress up as her and pretend to cast spells on my brother. I used to tell anyone who would listen that I was a witch. My mother has a letter I wrote to her when I was about seven in which I claim that I will die because she took away my 'magic hat' that gave me my 'life force' (she took away the hat because I trashed my bedroom and wouldn't clean it up). So that obsession with witches? I guess you could say it never went away.

Endora is awesome. She's powerful, and formidable, and also cheeky, with a impeccable sense of mischief. The thing I loved most about her as a child was how bright and bold she was, I suppose, and how much fun it would be to be a witch (especially one who was always playing tricks on people). As an adult, I love her attitude. I love her feminism in a time that hadn't quite made it to feminism yet. I love that her problem with Darrin isn't so much that he is mortal, but that he wants her daughter to give up her magic. I love how protective she is of her daughter's heritage and culture, and how she absolutely never gives up the fight. I love that she is certainly a flawed character - petty and selfish and sometimes downright cruel - but that we always get the sense of how much she loves her daughter, and later grandchildren (with the exception of one episode which I absolutely hate and think was totally OOC for her). I love that she is separated from/has an open relationship with her husband. They weren't allowed to say 'divorce' on American television in the 1960s, but it is quite clear from both direct speech and innuendo that Endora and Maurice did not live together and had no desire to, although they occasionally flirted or became jealous of each other's lovers. And it's clear they both had lovers. A powerful, multi-layered older woman who obviously has an active sex life? What is not to love about this character?

Add to it that both the character and the actress have become an icon for the queer community (fabulous and proud of what she is! yeah!), and that just makes her legacy even more wonderful.

Extra tidbit: a fabulous interview with agnes on the Bewitched set. Seriously, I'm petty sure I want to be just like this when I grow up. She's so blunt and opinionated no wonder I picked her for Muriel's PB, hm?

Coming up )

featherxquill: (Red Shoes)
So a bunch of you have linked to this bullshit flowchart, and are pissed off by the way it reduces all female characters and some real women wtf to nothing but stereotypes. Which I completely agree with. Seriously, WTF?

So I decided that now would be a good time to complete the questions on that 30 Day Awesome Women Meme that I started writing a while ago.

Starting tomorrow, I will be posting about an awesome woman, real or fictional, every day for thirty days. The questions/prompts are under the cut, in case anyone wants to jump on the bandwagon.

30 Days of Awesome Women under here )


featherxquill: (Default)

January 2012

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