My heroines are: Clytemnestra, Gloria Steinem and Miss Piggy.
Now, why on earth would I choose Clytemnestra as a heroine? Adulteress? Murderess? Logic and guts, that’s why. If a man kills your husband and baby son, forces marriage on you, slits the throat of your daughter to get some wind to go off and destroy Troy and brings home a sex slave at the end of that ten year war, termination of the bastard sounds perfectly logical to me. There comes a time when enough is enough.
It took guts to do what Clytemnestra did, or was party to—evidence is sketchy. The men of ancient Greece could get away with murder, including infanticide and daughter-slaying but a woman getting rid of a piece of trash was not the done thing and Clytemnestra died for her “sins.” Murdered by her son and a remaining daughter, a witless little twit with a fixation on a father who’d have slit her throat if he needed to get up a wind to go off on another war. No heroine she, just a fine example of what fools females can be, which is another reason why Clytemnestra makes my heroine list. She ceased to be a damned fool.
I strongly suspect Gloria Steinem would not put Clytemnestra on her list of heroines. Feminism does not endorse physical violence on males (usually); but I admire Ms. Steinem for the same reasons as I do Clytemnestra. Logic says women are human beings. Logic says all humans should have the right to develop interests and skills and use them. Logic says men are not superior to women. Logic, however, is not readily understood by many and it takes guts to get up everyday and jump into a maelstrom of odium because you’re trying to break through ignorance. Sexism makes people silly and they get scared when the silliness is pointed out. Fear can lead to attack. It had to get damned draining to put up with people hurling invective at you day after day after day. Perhaps doubly draining if you carry the burden of the beautiful woman—the expectation that you are to be merely decorative—and sexy. Without being slutty of course. Wait—sluttiness currently seems to be in (talk about damned dumb), which reminds me of another reason I admire Steinem. It took guts to become a Playboy Bunny to do research for an article. Talk about draining, going to work everyday just to be a piece of meat.
On to my third heroine, the sui generis Miss Piggy, Princess of Insouciance. How can you not admire a female of such presence, panache, poise and—pushiness? She is one confident female who creates her world and expects others to live in it. Now some might suggest she has way too much self-absorption but I consider her a fine counter-balance to females possessed by too little regard for moi. It takes guts to be Miss Piggy but she’s not going to let you see that. She charges on, creating awe at her audacity.
You may ask about logic in Miss Piggy. When one possesses such style, wit and grace, does it really matter? Miss Piggy creates the logic of her life; and from time to time I find it damned relaxing and just plain fun to slip into her reality—where sexism is of no consequence. I think Clytemnestra and Gloria Steinem would be perfectly willing and happy to occasionally join me in Miss Piggy’s World.
3 Replies to “Heroines”
You have inspired a hunger for a revised and updated “Agamemnon”, one in which a hybrid heroine, Ms. Piggy Steinem, advises Cytemnestra as her world collapses around her. For more comic foils we could add a bold huntress, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann as instigators. Add a Greek chorus of wails and hoots and we’ve got a cautionary tale in the making—perhaps a farce. Or mayhem. Thanks for a fresh look at heroines.
I am laughing my head off. I love those Greek tales and have been thinking of retelling the Clytemnestra story for years. Several people have done so. I don’t know that I want those pathetic GOP dummies in the tale though. In their contempt for women they are more akin to Athena who sold out women when Orestes was on trial in the “Oresteia.”
Ms. Piggy Steinem is a fine idea.
Huey, Just love this rumination!!! Much enjoy your appreciation for these three heroines. Looking forward to more!