Part Two, of Ladybits, a funny little “meme” I found while wasting time on Tumblr.
I broke the list up into bits (Ladybits, hah!) because I tend to get wordy when thinking about my favorite ladies in fiction and well, I didn’t want to subject anyone to a 5000 word rant all at once.
Gotta…spread the love around. Right?
- Favorite female villain Cersei Lannister, “A Song of Ice & Fire” by George R.R. Martin. Cersei is a villain. She is a wreck of a human being; she gladly loved, boned, and bore children sired by her twin brother, she gleefully dealt out horrible rulings for the kingdom, conspired to murder her husband, seduced a cousin, raised her eldest son to be the worst, most willful, evil, entitled little fucker in the history of fiction (probably), and conspired to have the aforementioned son’s wife convicted of treasonous adultery and executed. But, she had her tender and vulnerable moments, and yes she was treated abominably by her father (who sold her for political alliance, as happens both in fiction and history – and probably even today), and her husband (who fucked around on her from before they were even wed, was a stinking, drunken lout who occasionally beat her, and who sired bastards by the dozen without compunction). I am not calling her a sympathetic character, not in the least, but she is complicated and more than just a set of breasts for the fantasy-nerd-fanboys to wank about. Cersei is ambitious and clever and dangerously naive and wily and yet, capable of great love (twisted, as it may be) and loyalty. She’s pretty despicable, but also, a pretty awesome character.
- Favorite teenage girl Alexis Castle, “Castle”, as portrayed by Molly C. Quinn. Well, this was a hard one for me, I won’t lie. But I like Alexis – particularly in the earlier seasons. She is another lovely redhead (yes, I have a mighty affection for redheads at large) but the character is more than just Castle’s token daughter. She’s smart as a whip, and funny, a little bit awkward in the early years, and she loves her father deeply. Their relationship is adorable. Often, she’s the grown-up and he the child. I know that’s a common enough theme these days – for the Peter-Pan-Man (men who never quite get “mature”) is widespread in TV and literature – but with them, and the chemistry between Molly & Nathan Fillion, it always strikes me as charming and affectionate. Not, slightly sexual and squicky, as such a relationship can go. Alexis is/was everything I wanted to be as a teenager. She’s wealthy, but down-to-earth. She’s smart as hell and adorably ginger. She’s talented and her relationship with her father is nothing at all like the one I had with mine. Maybe a little bit of a Mary Sue, but Hells!, who isn’t?
- Favorite younger girl Harriet M. Welsch, “Harriet, The Spy” by Louise Fitzhugh. I wanted to be Harriet when I was a kid. Heck, I still do. She was witty and insightful and a spy. Harriet made all sorts of mistakes, but she learned from them, and her imagination was inspiring. Sometimes I think that my love of reading (and writing) was really coaxed into fullness by books like “Harriet, the Spy”, “Starring Sally J. Friedman, as Herself”, and the Little House novels, and their resourceful, precocious, brilliant little girls.
- Favorite lady friendship Buffy & Willow, “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”; Lily & Robyn, “How I Met Your Mother”. This is a tie. And both couples feature Alyson Hannigan, which may be in part due to my long-time lady-crush on her, but really – these two relationships are some of my favorite in TV history for different reasons. Buffy and Willow were outsiders at Sunnydale, and unlikely allies who came to understand each other, love each other, and sacrifice everything to save one another (and the world). Theirs was a supernatural adventure of epic proportions. Lily and Robyn were less ‘unlikely’ and more just, moving in different directions. They were thrown together by joining the social circle of a neurotic dude (Ted) and it grew from casual “you’re-dating-my-best-guy-friend-so-I’ll-put-up-with-you” into something really special. I love both dynamics, different as they are, and though they’ve got nothing on my real life bestie, Tim, and I, they’re pretty spiff.
- Favorite lady-centric show/movie/book “The Golden Girls”. I mean, come on. You have comedic genius, grandmothers having sex and dating, all the wicker furniture you can stand, a lovely setting like Miami in the 80s, and Bea-fucking-Arthur. What more could you want? I loved watching the Golden Girls back when it was still in its hey-day. I was too young to understand the jokes, really, but I could sense the timing, the chemistry, the humor. The first place I remember hearing the word “gay”? The Golden Girls. The first place I remember hearing about AIDS? The Golden Girls. The (likely) place I developed a dry, sarcastic sense of humor? The Golden Girls. My love for Cheesecake? Probably also, the Golden Girls. These ladies were proving that life didn’t end when the kids left home, when the husband moved on with a younger woman (or died). They kept my laughing and learning and even today – when I watch old episodes, I laugh and I relate and I hope I am half as cool when I’m “golden”.
P.S. If you have never heard any of Johnny McGovern’s tributes to The Golden Girls, you are missing out.
Note: Image is “Lip-sticks” by (Irum) from SXC.hu