Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Celebrity Smackdown IV: Women's History Edition

Women's History Month* is almost over, but we're going to celebrate it Panopticon style with a Celebrity Smackdown!

The contest: Field Hockey

The teams:



squaring off against:


Without in any way wishing to drag the Smackdown into the realm of educational toys, something did occur to me as the teams were lining up. It has been very difficult throughout history for a woman to become notable without first becoming at least somewhat notorious. Unless you're a nurse or a nun, you're likely going to get a bad rap - and even then your success may ruffle feathers.

There's a lesson in that, no?

The Good/Bad designation is tongue-in-cheek, with a few guidelines based on the woman's career.
Good: nurses, canonized saints, devoted wives, public servants,** ladies who wrote about nice things, ladies who pursued gentle arts like writing and painting without stirring up too much trouble

Bad: professional whores, open lesbians, those connected (horrors!) with the stage, ladies who wrote about unladylike subjects that stirred shit up
Who's going to dominate in Field Hockey?
The Good Girls (E. Cady Stanton, captain)
The Bad Girls (La Du Barry, captain)
Free polls from Pollhost.com

*I think it's so nice how women get a month. It suggests that during the other 11 months they were getting their nails done. But I suppose it's better than nothing.

**That's how Elizabeth Cady Stanton wound up as captain on the Good side, although she really could have gone either way. Certainly in her own time realtively few men would have considered her a servant of the public good. But when she steps up and says, "I'm in charge," you don't argue.

51 comments:

Will Pillage For Yarn said...

Bad girls will win for the simple reason that they'd be more likely to play dirty. It's more fun that way.

Amy said...

"I've given myself up a long time ago as a heartless baggage!", Elizabeth Gaskell said as she kicked Alice B. Toklas in the shin.

Beth said...

You didn't specify how much toast and peach dessert Melba's been eating lately, and if Toklas brought enough brownies for the whole team. I don't think the bad girls could get it together; I think there'd be a lot of infighting. The good girls know how to work hard and get what they want. So there.

Anonymous said...

It takes serious determination and cleverness to make a name for yourself within the limited definition of a good girl. Therefore I vote that they could stage an upset.

LaurieM

doloreshaze said...

Actually I think a lot of these ladies could have gone either way. The only "bad" thing Ms. Toklas did was unkowlingly offer a hashish brownie recipe and muffdive Ms. Stein. And honestly, if you've ever (and I KNOW you have, Franklin) read Lytton Strachey on Florence Nightingale, I don't know that you would have put her on the "good" team.

Franklin said...

I know. I really wrestled with where to put Flo. But then, Lytton himself was such a bitch...so I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt just this once.

doloreshaze said...

Bad girl benchwarmers: Edna St. Vincent Millay, Natalie Barney, Dora Carrington, Eva Legallienne, Alla Nazimova, Edna Ferber, Charlotte Cushman and Fanny Cornforth.

Liz said...

I think it could go either way. The "good" girls could be putting up a smoke screen, and then they get you in the shins. Dirty pool.

I find the whole "Women's History Month" just a bit bizarre, especially because if there was ever a "Men's History Month" people would lose their sh*t! I think I will stick to calling it "March" and continue on with my manicure.

M-H said...

Women's History Month? Who thought that up? Glad we dont have that in Aus. Bad girls will win hands down, 'cos they don't waste their energies pretending to conform.

doloreshaze said...

I work in a womens theater, and we refuse to do anything in particular about women's history month--for us it's all chicks, all year long.

GAndyS said...

I never did see much difference between "good" and "bad" people, those who are judged to be bad are being judged by the source as much as by themselves. Rant: people make mistakes and people get caught making mistakes, or don't get caught. But everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is unscrupulous in some decisions, especially if they really really care about the Cause they are espousing. Rant over. Sillyness may continue! I like my bad women really good and my good women really bad!

Carol said...

How about Emma Goldman?

Bad girlz all the way. Hooking sticks, elbows to the gut, the whole nine yards.

Anonymous said...

"*I think it's so nice how women get a month. It suggests that during the other 11 months they were getting their nails done. But I suppose it's better than nothing."

::delurking::

Heh. Remember, 1992 was the "year of the woman."

::relurking::

Bevin said...

Dear Franklin:

I miss Dolores. Is she on a bender?

Love,

Bevin

Laurel said...

You shouldn't forget Victoria C. Woodhull... first woman candidate for president. She'd be on the "Bad Girl" list because in addition to women's sufferage she also promoted free love, which made Susan B. Anthony et al turn against her.

Kathy Merrick said...

It's been my experience (including Catholic girls' high school) that good girls play hockey.
Bad girls ride around in cars with cute boys after school.
They don't do team sports.

Rabbitch said...

I am not even sure who Elizabeth Gaskell is but I used to work with a woman (or FOR a DOKTOR, as she would have put it) named Gaskell who was screwing her way to the top of academia, having few merits of her own, so I could never vote for anyone with her name. Yes, I'm prejudiced.

Jaws said...

Why are all the good girls ugly and plain?

Hmm. I'm detecting a pattern.

Angel said...

My alma mater (a woman's college) sells bumper stickers that say "Well behaved women rarely make history."

I answered a whole doctoral qualifying exam on women in American religious history and how they were all "troublemakers" in some way shape or form (Ann Hutchinson, Mother Ann Lee, Sister Amy anyone?)

I love your celebrity smackdowns Franklin....

Riin said...

Mrs. Cady Stanton knew how to get things done. She didn't let people get away with messing with her. Miss Nightingale was the same. I think there's a misconception of "good girl" as wuss. A lot of powerful women have been mislabeled.

Haven't had a chance to listen to the podcast yet. I moved last weekend and I don't have my DSL yet. The pain... But moving led me to a question: when I took the mattress pad off my mattress, there was this Serta label with nine sheep staring at me, and I found myself wondering, has Dolores ever done any modeling for Serta?

Judith in Ottawa said...

My Mum told me her proper girls' school team turned into something straight out of St. Trinians when they invited the lads from the nearby airbase for a 'friendly' game.

Goods girls have drive and determination that runs below the surface, but deeply.

Nancy in A2 said...

The good girls will win by default. The bad girls won't bother to show up.

Cheryl said...

There are lots of passionate and organized women on the good girl team. I think they will be the George Mason of field hockey.

Donna in Virginia said...

Them "good" ones were tough strong women who took on the establishment honestly and publicly (none of that feminine wiles stuff for them)so the "bad" ones better watch out.

Ann said...

Having known a few field hockey players, I'd have to say good girls here. Tough call, but some of your good girls were tough wenches. Besides, as someone else commented, the bad girls were more of a smoke the ciggies behind the gym crowd.

Now, had you said soccer, I'm thinking bad girls - because most of those ladies could probably see the field hockey kilt thing as a proper uniform for a lady, but none of them were going to do a Brandy Chastain and go celebrate in sports bra.

Martian77 said...

I had to vote for the bad girls, because I know a few (by Franklin's definition) who play a mean game of (field) hockey. And I do mean mean... :-)

Me, I just bodycheck occasionally. Nothing wrong with that!

Dhi said...

Damn it!
I voted Good Girls, thinking that they had *god* on their side and all. But apparantly they are a tad weak in the organized sports arena since they're getting their asses handed to them by the Whores!

Just proves that piety counts for naught in the afterlife. I'm off to plan an affair, then. With an actor. And brownies.

Hrmph,
Dhi

Mama Lu said...

No fair! How could you leave Carrie Nation off the Good Girls team: "Standing at nearly 6 feet tall and weighing 180 pounds, Carry Amelia Moore Nation, Carrie Nation, as she came to be known, cut an imposing figure. Wielding a hatchet, she was downright frightful."

But even without her, I think the Good Girls will win.

Anonymous said...

How 'bout these for backups?

Montserrat Caballe on the good girls team. She could throw her weight around.

Lizzie Borden for the bad girls. A hatchet-weilding crazy chick would be rather intimidating.

T in SP

TrickyTricot said...

Good Girls for sure - how would you like meeting Clara Barton in a dark alley? I mean, come on folks...

Holly @Home said...

Franklin ..Florence was really a very bad girl ..mad as all outdoors ...still glad to see the baddies are winning ... a touch of the St. Trinians.......... as for Flo.she spent sometime trying to trash Mary Seacole ,threw a Nun out of a window ...and hardly anyone survived her treatment .

Holly @Home said...

Goodness Franklin such a lot of old farts..you are really missing out not having Ethel Kennedy she could really wack a ball,hockey,tennis,footie..only problem is good? or bad? Holly's Mum.....good in my books .

Julie said...

Dude. Alice B could take everyone else one-handed. You KNOW that.

And I don't mean to criticize, but where's Margaret Sanger?

GO, MARGARET!!

Colleen said...

What? No Carrie Nation? Truly a good girl gone bad if there ever was one.

Lee Ann said...

Emily Dickinson would come and cheer on the bad girls, but she's feeling a bit depressed.

pacalaga said...

Really, the winner should be whatever team Carrie Nation was on. Smash, ladies, smash!
Beth said there'd be too much infighting on the bad girls team, but I think they'd unite against a common foe (goody two shoes! gasp!) and THEN they'd beat the snot out of each other.
And sadly, my women's history is deeply lacking. I'll need to google these ladies on my lunch hour and ejimacate myself.

Debbie said...

You're giving Alice B. Toklas a HOCKEY STICK??!! Lord help us all.

David said...

Toot toot, honk, beep beep.

dizzy dame said...

No woman of color? How about Harriet Tubman on the good girls side?

Helen said...

Good or bad, Florence wouldn't play on any team; she was always totally out for Number One. She didn't stand up for women, only for herself. Now, is that Good or Bad? I'm surprised that someone who is as knowlegable about the sayings of Oscar Wilde as I assume you are should use this as the distinguishing characteristic for the teams; after all, 'It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.' But perhaps you have used his definition of fiction, where 'The good end happily and the bad unhappily.' I think I need more information before I can place my vote :)

jpt said...

Bad girls are great at individual competition--they cheat, they flirt with the referees, they buy the fight. But in team sports? I'm not seeing it. The good girls are more organized and actually show up for practice.

Lise said...

gotta vote for the good girls. Cady Stanton is one tough broad, for starters. And as the proud veteran of 12 years of Catholic education, which included playing basektball with nuns, let me tell you that sisters play to win.

Mel said...

I'm laying my money on Stanton. I'm sure Miss Toklas was up much of the night baking brownies.

shua said...

This is GREAT! In the event the bad girls teams needs some alternates, I'd suggest Sojourner Truth and Lucretia Mott. And perhaps Louisa May Alcott.

I must search your archives to see if you've had a celebrity smackdown a June past...

This brought a smile to my face!

FiberQat said...

Dang! I missed another smackdown!

You had one canonized saint in there, but there are a few women in religion sitting on the bench: Mary Baker Eddy, Aimee Semple McPherson, Mother Joseph and Mother Emilie Gamelin of the Sisters of Providence (who founded hospitals in Montreal and Vancouver Wa in the 19th century). Aimee would be there with the bad girls; Mama Jo and Emmy would be in charge of pregame training of the good girls. Marie Curie would be concocting and mixing special liniments for injuries.

What fun!!

utilly said...

Man, I can't believe you missed out on having Matilda Joslyn Gage playing for the bad girls. She was so owed a grudge match after that bitch Stanton sold out....

according to http://www.nps.gov/wori/gagebio.htm

"When Anthony led her followers in merging the two existing suffrage organizations, thereby bringing in the conservative Women's Christian Temperance Union forces, Gage left the suffrage movement and formed the anti-Church group she had been considering. Made up of anarchists, prison reformers, labor leaders and feminists, the Woman's National Liberal Union was viewed as one of the most radical organizations in the country, and Gage's mail was intercepted by the government.

Stanton chose to become president of Anthony's combined National American Woman Suffrage Association rather than join Gage's group. Anthony denounced Gage's "secession" (as she called it) from the suffrage ranks, and Gage spent her last eight years estranged from most of her movement allies and friends of the previous forty years.

Loneliness was not the only price Gage paid for her uncompromising radical vision. Historians tracing an undeviating line of a single-issue suffrage struggle from the 1848 Seneca Falls convention to the adoption of woman suffrage in 1920, don't know where to fit Gage. The contemporariness of her thought makes Gage even today a threat to the status quo."

And, without her *influence* on her son in law, L Frank Baum I doubt that the Oz books would have got written...

KnittinNurse said...

On behalf of knitters everywhere-May I suggest next time have Madame LeFarge on the team!!!

KnittinNurse said...

On second thought- to keep in character- Madame Lefarge would be a great cheerleader!

dte said...

The consequences of today are determined by the actions of the past scarlet blade gold. To change your future, alter your decisions today scarlet blade gold, Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards scarlet blade gold, but it takes character to keep you there.

dte said...

The bravery of each bull is then rated with care according to the number of times he demonstrates his willingness to charge in spite of the sting of the blade Runescape gp, Henceforth will I recognize that each day I am tested by life in like manner. If I persist, if I continue to try, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed rs gp, Your future depends on your dreams Runescape2 Gold. So go to sleep. Do not keep anything for a special occasion..

Angela Dixon said...

I really like your writing style. Such a nice Post, Can’t wait for the next one.

Asus - 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - 8GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive + 24GB Solid State Drive - Gray Aluminum (N550JV-DB72T)

Asus - 15.6" Laptop - 8GB Memory - 750GB Hard Drive - Dark Gray