There comes a time in every young woman’s life when all she wants to do is recline on her couch, hoover a bottle of malbec, and watch things about all the bold, brazen, unfortunate woman who’ve come before her and triumphed (or not triumphed). We’re looking head on into the first weekend of October, and I can think of no better time for such an estro-fest.
Okay so let’s cut to the chase on this one—I’m about to talk a big game about being a lady. That does not mean that you won’t enjoy any of these cultural petit fours if you don’t have ovaries. It does mean that these things are all comments, nay celebrations of what it is to be a WOMAN IN OUR SOCIETY etc etc etc. Also, in the name of women in media, I tried to veer away from the super current/popular ladyfilms that could’ve been very obviously included here—i.e. Bridesmaids, Baby Mama, Fried Green Tomatoes, Mean Girls, etc. Let’s just say I was going for some deep cuts in the lady media arena. There will also probably be multiple Mediapothecaries about ovary-having.
So, to start us off:
1. Every Single Night by Fiona Apple. Can we all agree that Fiona Apple is clearly working through some things, but that she is channeling her crazy in waaaaaay more productive ways than you or I ever will, i.e. Making Amazing, Bizarre, Heartbreaking Music???? Just listen to this song and feel your feelings.
2. Little Women (1994) Yeah, I mean the Winona Ryder version from the 90’s. If you have a problem with that, you can basically go kiss a dick about it because I effing love this movie and no one will ever stop me. I’m not even going to say that the trailer misrepresents the movie at all, because it really doesn’t. It’s a campy family film about sisterly love and old timey ladylike coming of age. Don’t Care. Get Over It.
I once watched this movie on VHS at a friend’s house, and then went home and watched it all again ON YOUTUBE that night. I was twenty years old. What do I like about this movie, you ask? Well, the answers are simple, but many. Obviously Winona Ryder is my inspiration animal. Additionally, it’s a story about a young girl who dreams of growing up to become a writer, in spite of what society tells her about femininity. Yes, good, I’m on board. It’s got Kirsten Dunst when she was little and acted like an adult robot. Claire Danes does some first rate ugly-crying, which is definitely her power-zone. Also: Christian Bale as Laurie?! Who says no to that???? (barring of course the second half of the film in which he grows a super villain goatee and starts leering at Amy, thanks but no thanks Batman.)
And Susan Sarandon and Gabriel Byrne are there too, which also is nice! And it’s about a bunch of sisters just trying to grow up and learn about the world and sometimes do super shitty things to each other and some of them die (shhh don’t tell who!) and some of them just want to take some goddamned limes to school. Don’t get the inside joke? Just watch it.
3. Jurassic Park. Ever notice how the women in this movie are the only ones who don’t fuck everything up??? Also all the dinos are ladies!
4. Stage Beauty. I am going to tell you that this trailer misrepresents the movie, because it really does. Especially as far as all the glittery pixie dust sound effects are concerned (except when they flourish at Rupert Everett’s name because he is magical.)
This is the story of a man (Billy Crudup) raised and trained as a boy player—one of the men cast in women’s theatre roles in pre-Restoration England. Crudup’s character is called Ned Kynaston, based off of Edward Kynaston, the last boy player before King Edward decided to get real freaky and let women shake their thang onstage. The issue is that Ned’s right hand lady/stage manager/ wig servant Maria (Claire Danes) wants to act too, but the beardy boys of Restoration England won’t give her a chance. What a conundrum! Follows: a series of happenstances and lucky events, most of which revolve around Rupert Everett saying “THRILLS AND CHILLS!” and suddenly the laws have been reversed—not only can women act, but men are no longer permitted to play women onstage. Hooray Claire Danes! Sorry about your whole life, Billy Crudup.
Along the way, we see a ton of gender bending confusion, Uncle Dursley getting mad about some prostitutes, romance, Claire Danes ugly crying, and Billy Crudup having sex with everything. It’s a bit costumey and goofy in parts, and oh man is it hilarious to hear Claire Danes try an English accent. But it does offer some nice nuggets of thought about how it is men try to portray women, why they can or can’t do it accurately, and how silly it is to try and define gender by rigid rules and requirements. And besides, Billy Crudup makes A GORGEOUS WOMAN, it turns out.
(P.S. yeah I know I picked two different Claire Danes movies this week. Fight me about it. Just thank your lucky stars My So Called Life wasn’t included here because IT ALMOST WAS.)
5. 212 by Azealia Banks primarily because my friend Steve once referred to the lyrics as having “gratuitous references to cunnilingus.” So here’s to resilience, power, and gratuitous cunnilingus, my lady-pack!