"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
Big mouth. Loud mouth. Smart mouth.
Smart alack. Blabbermouth. Know it all.
I talk a lot.
I make puns and sarcastic observations.
I like allusions and euphemisms.
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 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"
"Jovita Idar: Write and do"
"Colleen Moore: Sometimes the little things help"
"Peggielene Bartels, King: Nothing crushes me"