13.3.12

Heroine

Is there a woman figure you can think of that really inspires you, that you consider to be hero material?

The obvious choice:
Via


We were discussing this in a literature class in terms of Antigone, the greek tragedy by Sophocles.  She heroically stood up to King Creon in the name of her brother, risking her life in the face of deadly consequences.

Heroic Attributes:  Bravery, Defiance, Beauty, Wisdom, Strength, Confidence, Endurance, Morality...

My top ten heroines are (in no specific order):  Frida Kahlo, Ayn Rand, Anais Nin, Georgia O'keef, Amelia Earhart, Margaret Thatcher, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Liz Phair, and Joan of Arc.  I know this is a really broad collection, but they all have one thing in common.  Each of these women went against the grain to achieve what was important to them.  In the face of criticism and doubt, these women were heroes.

For class, I wrote about Frieda Kahlo:



When I think of female heros, Frieda Kahlo is among my top ten. She was courageous beyond words.  She defied her culture’s limited expectations of women during her time, she defied her body’s limitations, and she defied her era’s idea of relationship (she was married, divorced, remarried and also experimented with lesbian relationships), and she was very politically active, even giving asylum to leader Trotsky who was in hiding from Joseph Stalin.  

For a woman living her prime in the 1930’s, she lived like a goddess, taking her life in her own hands, living for what she believed in.

  
Kahlo and Painting, Two Friedas

Frieda Kahlo, was not one to give up.  Not on life, not on her art, and not in the face of ultimate adversity; a near death accident.  At the young age of 18, Kahlo was riding a bus through town when it crashed into a streetcar.  A metal handrail impaled her body leaving her with life long injuries, spinal and pelvic fractures, the need for dozens of surgeries, and often married to a hospital bed.

  
Kahlo Painting Her Cast

"Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"
~Frieda Kahlo


She began to paint during her recovery and created her first self portrait  a year after her accident.  Throughout the rest of her painful life, she painted, determined to live as much as she could from the confines of her bed.  Kahlo’s surrealist paintings were deeply personal, darkly physical, and like nothing anyone had ever seen.  

In 1953, though bedridden, Kahlo again looked life defiantly in the face.  In order to attend her own opening at a gallery, she made arrangements to arrive by ambulance, and was set up in a four poster bed.  She was determined to live her life.

  
Little Deer, Frieda Kahlo

I think one of her most audacious and defiant moments was her blatant approach of her future husband Diego Rivera.  He was busy, a prominent name in the art world and famous for his beautiful and often political murals.  Kahlo, with all of the assertiveness you would never expect from a woman in Mexico in the thirties, called up to him on his scaffolds.  She held a painting under her arms and insisted he give it his attentions and critique.  

Frida has been described as:
 "…one of history's grand divas…< /i>
a tequila-slamming, dirty joke-telling smoker, bi-sexual 
that hobbled about her bohemian barrio in lavish indigenous dress 
and threw festive dinner parties for the likes of Leon Trotsky, poet Pablo Neruda, Nelson Rockefeller, 
and her on-again, off-again husband, muralist Diego Rivera."

  
The Broken Column, Frieda Kahlo



Who is your heroine?

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