The Leading Lady's Year

One woman's quest to become the heroine of her own life

shebasilisk

shebasilisk
Location
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Birthday
December 31
Bio
SheBasilisk is a writer, history nut, artist, aspiring florist, and recovering theater geek from Saint Louis, Missouri. Her past work has appeared in StlToday.com, The Collinsville Herald, The Granite City Press-Record, The Madison County Record, LegalNewsline, The Northwest Herald, The Kane County Chronicle, The Galesburg Register-Mail, The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, the St. Louis Beacon, and other publications. She is currently working becoming "the leading lady" of her own life.

MY RECENT POSTS

FEBRUARY 6, 2013 3:35PM

Margaret Cho: Be frank

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"These days, I strive to be a bitch, because not being one sucks. Not being a bitch means not having your voice heard. Not being a bitch means you agree with all the bullshit. Not being a bitch means you don’t appreciate all the other bitches who have come before you. Not being a bitch means since Eve ate that apple, we will forever have to pay for her bitchiness with complacence, obedience, acceptance, closed eyes, and open legs," Margaret Cho, feminist comedian

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Big mouth. Loud mouth. Smart mouth.

Bitch.

Smart alack. Blabbermouth. Know it all.

Bitch.

I talk a lot.

I yell.

I make puns and sarcastic observations.

I like allusions and euphemisms.

Bitch.

I've been called a bitch more times than I can count. When not put that bluntly, there have been too many times to count when I've been told to be quiet, to "think before you say it," to be "nice," to "shut up," and that "nobody cares what you have to say."

Good girls still follow the rules of silence. Good girls don't want to be rude. Good girls don't speak up. Even feminism has become a dirty word because women speaking out about the issues impacting them - or testifying before Congress as Sandra Fluke did - bring forth cries of "Slut," and other insults.

But, being a woman, it's easy to feel gagged. To be less than frank. 

Margaret Cho only recently came on my radar as the epitome of frankness. I got caught up in the silly, senseless sitcom "Drop Dead Diva," and immediately, Cho's Teri became my hands-down favorite character. (Watching her comedy routines subsequently nailed my devotion.)

Teri doesn't bite her tongue. Teri's is razor-sharp and deliciously catty. Teri's smart and snarky. While she sometimes ends up with her foot in her mouth, she speaks her mind. That character alone makes the show worth watching.

What endeared Teri most to me - and Cho for her performance - the episode when Teri's actions get a family member into trouble. Confronted by her mother, Teri is for once tongue-tied, a feeling I know all too well.

It doesn't stop her and all is well in the end.

But that single episode demonstrated the challenge women have in speaking up, being frank.

And, I believe all leading ladies need to be frank.

For more Margaret Cho, check out her Web site at http://www.margaretcho.com/ or see her on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/channel/HC_eZ6GvQMwBg

For more posts in "A Leading Lady's Year," check out my previous posts about these "Leading Ladies,"

"Brownie Wise: Organization is key," http://open.salon.com/blog/amelia_flood/2013/01/14/brownie_wise_organization_is_key

"Makpal Abdrazakova: Let fly"

http://open.salon.com/blog/amelia_flood/2012/12/31/makpal_abdrazakova_let_fly

"Jovita Idar: Write and do"

http://open.salon.com/blog/amelia_flood/2012/12/31/jovita_idar_write_and_do

"Colleen Moore: Sometimes the little things help"

http://open.salon.com/blog/amelia_flood/2012/12/31/colleen_moore_sometimes_the_little_things_help

"Peggielene Bartels, King: Nothing crushes me"

http://open.salon.com/blog/amelia_flood/2012/12/31/peggielene_bartels_king_nothing_crushes_me

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Comments

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I love her! She is just shining in the world and I remember her from way back. She has power and isn't afraid to use it. I do believe a person needs to be kind in the world but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to be NICE. Big difference. Thanks for this post.
Loved her ass for YEARS.

Here's my fav!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10i17NNujDE
I completely agree. Kindness and niceness are often mistaken for each other but are definitely not the same thing. I think what really caught me about Margaret is that "frankness." She isn't afraid to say what she's thinking which, I have found in my own life as a young woman, can be difficult. While I was lucky to be nurtured to speak up by my family and the nuns who ran my all-girls high school, when I got to college and the working world, it became clear to me that women either weren't encouraged or supported when they spoke up. The ghost of "Bitch" whispers around you in the office and societally, the insults hurled at women who do speak up are more vile than the rhetoric used against the suffragettes by a long shot. We still have a long way to go for women's voices to be heard.