There has always been a severe lack of female role models I think. There are writers I admire, but they are not role models, not people I aspire to be. When I was young and feisty I couldn’t find females to admire in that way, and I still can’t. I loved Sylvia Plath but y’know, I wouldn’t choose to be her, Margaret Thatcher was a ‘strong’ woman, but ugh, she still makes me shudder, Courtney Love is fierce and gorgeous and writes poetic lyrics that I heart, but she’s still a fuck up. I picked men as my heroes: Billy Bragg, Henry Rollins, Steven Page. (Funny how they are all singers.) Men with principles and humour, a mix of communication and passion and honesty. There were no women doing the same.
I am an adult now, and Rollins seems misogynistic and misguided, Bragg remains a wonder, as does Steven Page. I look around and still can’t see where the strong, smart women are.
Germaine Greer of course. This woman who speaks with such assurance that she can make me believe almost anything. Who else?
Anyway, I think the situation is far worse for girls today than it was for me. At least I had, I dunno, Toyah and Cyndi Lauper and Siouxsie Sioux showing that women didn’t have to be page 3 stunnahs. I sound like such an old bag I know, but today I went into Superdrug, and there were all these celebrity scents piled high for the last minute Christmas rush: Kate Moss, Britney Spears, Katie Price. I couldn’t help but wonder who would want to smell like them, and why? Who could possibly envy them or wish to be more like them?
I love Bluebell by Penhaligon’s myself, even after I found out that it’s the queen’s favourite, but I wouldn’t have bought it if it was called Her Majesty, or even Germaine! Dumb arse world.