Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What's on Your Book Shelf?

A number of months ago, I bought the book Women Without Men: A  Novel of Modern Iran, written by Shahrnush Parsipur. It's been sitting around on my book shelf for months and today I decided that I would pick it up and read it. I just finished the first chapter and it's pretty good, but then again I am really a sucker for Iranian history, literature and film

I was just looking at the back cover and I noticed that the author, Shahrnush Parsipur, was imprisoned twice in Iran and spent over four years in prison. The book was banned in the 1990s in Iran for Parsipur's frank discussions of virginity and women's sexuality. She's currently living in exile in the United States. Now that's a bad ass women if I've ever heard of one. Imagine that-being such a daring little bad ass that it got her thrown into the Islamic Republic of Iran's political prison.  I suppose I am making assumptions that she's one tough lady; I'll hold off on making any more such statements until I learn more about her. 

As we speak I've got my little bad-ass-woman-loving "research assistant" investigating more about her. Let's see what interesting information he can dig up! Stay tuned for more information (provided she has a good story to tell). 

I'll let you know what you think of the book as soon as I am finished with it! In the meantime, you can read more about it or buy it here.

What are you reading??

Monday, April 20, 2009

Badass Bitch of the Day: P!nk

I'd have to say that one of my favorite badass women is the musician P!nk. She's so tough with her badass tattoos, sassy attitude, and wicked sense of humor. Here are a few of my favorite videos by her:

Stupid Girls: A video poking fun at superficial women.

So What: A song about her separation with her husband. I'd have to say that her husband (Carey Hart) is pretty high up on my list of men who love badass women for starring in this video with her after they had separated. Apparently they've recently gotten back together.

Please Don't Leave Me: Ha, I don't even know what to say about this one! You'll have to watch it for yourself. I really love her sense of humor.

Sober: A song about sobriety. 

Trouble: Badass Pink kicks ass and breaks out of jail. 

Dear Mr. President:  A political statement to President Bush. 

U and Ur Hand: She's just a badass, plain and simple. I love all her outfits in this video.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Great Minds Think Alike

Lately I have been meeting so many other bad-ass women (and a few men) who have been making suggestions to me about some women who should be featured, some movies, books, etc. Well, if you have a great idea about something then leave a comment here or email me at redharlot(at)yahoo(dot)com. I've been thinking about having some male or female guest bloggers if anyone is interested. My very first bad-ass bitch guest blogger is currently writing up something that will be posted next week. If so, hit me up. Ciao!

Frida Kahlo: Woman of Myth, Contradiction and Resilience

This quote by Sandra Cisneros sums up in many ways how I see Frida Kahlo's (and my, of course) life: 

I am the woman of myth and bullshit. 
(True. I authored some of it.)
I built my little house of ill repute.
Brick by brick. Labored,
loved and masoned it.
Sandra Cisneros, "Loose Woman"

I've decided that I am going to blog to my heart's content about the woman who I consider to be one of the most significant historical figures to have influenced my life. This is the second post in my Frida Kahlo series. You can read my introduction and view some samples of her artwork here

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is an unconventional woman of myth, contradiction, and resiliency. Born as Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón on June 6, 1907, Frida often claimed that she was born in 1910, the year of the Mexican Revolution. Frida was daughter to father Guillermo Kahlo, a German immigrant, and Mexican mother Matilde Calderón. Frida often claimed that her father was Jewish, although other sources have claimed that her father was Lutheran. Often stating that she was born with an uncanny artistic ability at an early age, she has also claimed to have discovered painting out of boredom as an adult when recovering from a tragic accident.

As a child and young woman Frida Kahlo was the quintessential bad-ass in many ways. She was a prankster and tomboy who loved to box and ride her bike around with a boy's knapsack when other little girls were learning how to be proper ladies. A survivor of polio at the age of six, she became accustomed to being teased and isolated from her classmates at an early age. at the age of fifteen, Frida was one of only thirty-five young women accepted to attend the prestigious National Preparatory high school. She mainly associated with young men, claiming that that she was irritated by the gossip and pettiness associated with many girls. 

As a young woman, Frida often wore her hair short and dressed in masculine clothing. The following picture from 1926 shows Frida (to the left) in a suit standing with her hand in her pocket:

During her high school years, Kahlo earned a reputation for being a promiscuous young woman. In a letter written to her boyfriend she wrote, "Although I have said I love you to many, and I have had dates with and kissed others, underneath it all I never loved anyone but you". In another letter to her boyfriend she wrote:
I went around with Agustina Reyna all day, according to what she says, she no longer wants to be with me much, because you told her that she was the same or worse than me, and that is a great disparagement for her, and I agree with her, since I am beginning to realize that Mr. Olmedo was telling the truth when he said that I am not worth a cent,  that is to say for all those who once called themselves my friends, because to myself, naturally I am worth much more than a cent because I like myself the way that I am. 

The fact is that no one wants to be my friend because I have lost my reputation, something that I cannot remedy. I will have to be friends with those who like me just the way that I am...

...even if to you I am worth nothing, to myself I am worth more than many other girls...

Considering that she was writing this to a man in 1925, I'd have to say that she was one little bad-ass in my eyes. I'm always a sucker for women who make no apologies for their sexuality and/or promiscuity.

Coming Soon:
  • The tragic accident that debilitated her for the rest of her life
  • Her unconventional and open marriage to artist Diego Rivera
  • Torrid love affairs with men and women
  • Contradictions of masculinity and femininity, independence and vulnerability, beauty and pain
  • More about the myth and bullshit that she and others created regarding her life

Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Unconventional Woman of Her Time-Frida Kahlo

If I had to pick one woman of all time who has significantly influenced my life, I would have to say hands-down that the woman would most definitely be the rebellious Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. I've admired everything about her since the first moment that I ever learned about her many years ago. I'm in the process of typing up a blog post about Frida for those who don't know of her, or who know little about her. Frida Kahlo is significant to me in so many ways-it's about much more to me than just her art. To me she represents the independently unconventional woman-a survivor of polio and a debilitating accident, infidelity, sexual liberation, radical politics, and much, much more. From the moment that I laid eyes on her art, her masculine femininity, and learned about her deliciously scandalous open marriage to Diego Rivera she's been one of my life-long obsessions. If you love strong, feisty, unconventional women, then you are going to fall in love with Frida Kahlo!

While I am working on the post, check out this video of some of her art:

Don't you just love the song that is playing in the video? It's performed by Lila Downs, another bad ass folk singer who I plan on blogging about later because she's got an amazing story herself. You can buy the song for a minimal cost off of Amazon.

You can also check out some of her pictures and some quotes by Frida or other people about Frida here:

More to come....

Bad-Ass Bitch of the Day: Sista Queen

Check out Sista Queen's "Try Being a Lady" spoken word performance:

Here are some of my favorite phrases:

"Try being a lady? ...use me as your trophy so you can parade me...use my vagina to only birth babies...be your damsel in distress so a brother can save me"

"if my tongue was a trigger, you'd have been shot...get real-I'm gonna stay inappropriate until I fucking rot...I don't talk about love, I don't talk about sex, I don't talk about things that'll put your dick on erect"

"I'm gonna get a sex change so you and half of america can suck my dick!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Who Are Your Favorite Scandalous Women of Ill Repute?

I haven't updated here in a while because I have been having so much fun posting on some of my other projects that I have been working on.

I named this blog "bad-ass femmes" because I want to blog about unconventional women who have not fit the traditional mold-women who have bucked convention and broken the rules. While I realize that the lesbian community uses the term femme to classify a particular type of lesbian, my blog won't only address lesbians. I was thinking of the word femme in the sense of all females. If there are some bad-ass lesbian femmes out there, point me in their direction and I'll blog about them too!

I would have to say that my favorite bad-ass of all time is...Frida Kahlo. I've got tons to say about her, but I will save it for another post...

Who are some of your favorite wild women of history, literature, popular culture??