The Amazonian Princess Reborn

Wonder Woman

"I used to want to save the world, this beautiful place.
But the closer you get, the more you see the great darkness
within. I learnt this the hard way, a long, long time ago."
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“I am Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Hippolyta!”

This week celebrates the come back of my favourite Amazonian Princess; Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot stars as Diana Prince in Terrance Malik’s superhero origin film. The film tells the story of how Diana transforms from a naive warrior raised on a sheltered island paradise to an inspiring feminist hero.

I myself cannot wait to see it! Take a look at the trailer below, and release your inner Wonder Woman.

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A Most Modern Woman.

The Scandalous Lady W.

"I belong to no man. And although it may be my misfortune to live
in an age of men, I will never belong to a man."
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The very scandalous Lady Seymour Worlsey.

In 1781, a man’s wife is considered to be his property, much like his home, his land or his cattle.

Last night’s BBC drama, The scandalous Lady W, documented the amazing true story of the wealthy heiress, Lady Seymour Worsley, who caused outrage when she cuckold her husband which consequently sparked one of the greatest scandals of eighteenth-century England.

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Lady Worsley with her lover George Bissett (left) and her husband Lord Worsley (right).

Not only was this drama highly compelling and fascinating due to the fact that it actually happened, it was perhaps the biggest advertisement for radical, militarized feminism and premarital sex too. However, among eighteenth-century England, Lady Worlsely was considered to be the ultimate Scarlett woman. It was said that her sex life was so shocking that she was the inspiration for Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s play School for Scoundrel. 

She was also the inspiration behind David Eldbridge’s play, The Scandalous Lady W (quite literally). This play recounts the nasty business between Lady Seymour Worsley, her lover George Bissett and her husband Sir Richard Worsley. Lady Seymour ‘goes into her union with Sir Richard Worsley fully expecting it to be a meeting of equals. But she starts to become wary when he warns her: “You will recall, Seymour, you made a vow to love, cherish… and obey.” She is soon being tyrannised by Richard, who takes a perverted pleasure in watching her have sex with other men.

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A modern family; Lady Worsley and her lover George Bissett, with their daughter.

Unable to stand Richard’s cruelty any more, Seymour flees her oppressive marriage and elopes with his best friend, George. Richard sues the couple, hoping to ruin them both. But Seymour decides to contest the case, refusing to accept the archaic law that defines a wife as the property of her husband, “much like his home, his land and his cattle.” She skilfully manipulates the nascent press to support her and turn the nation against her reprehensible husband’ (The Independant). Most notably, this is seen when Lady Worsley reveals the scandoulos revelations of her marriage by presenting her 27 lovers in court. Thus, she was able to turn the case in her favour as it questioned the legal status of her husband, who was only awarded one shilling in compensation for damages caused.

When Richard died Seymour reclaimed what remained of her dowry and her maiden name, Fleming.

She married again, a musician twenty one years her junior, but she didn’t take his name.

He took hers.

Her portrait hangs to this day in Harewood House, Yorkshire.

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Portrait of a Lady; the real Lady Worsley.

When questioned about her most recent role, lead actress Natalie Dormer stated; “I found the historical fact so intoxicating that I didn’t want anybody else to play this woman. A woman couldn’t legally own or inherit until 1870-which is only 145 years ago. Most girls walking around the street tweeting or ordering on their Net-a-Porter app have no idea how minute the time is that we’ve had equality.” She says; “without sounding too earnest there are a lot of women in the world who don’t have a political voice, don’t have suffrage. We are talking about it as history, but there are plenty of places in the world where women are second class citizens and still enslaved to their male counterparts. It’s not as distant politically as we like to think it is.”

Being a fan of Natalie Dormer’s for many years, I was so excited when I saw the advertisement for The Scandalous Lady W. She has got to be one of my favourite actress, especially after I watched her portrayal of Anne Boleyn in The Tudors. As well as this, she is best known for her role as  Margaery Tyrell in Games of  Thrones and as Cressida in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1.

Born in Berkshire, Natalie Dormer studied at the Reading Blue Coat School. At school, Dormer was head girl, a first class student, vice-captain of the school netball team, and she also got to travel the world with her school’s public speaking team. She describes herself as the “academic hopeful” of the family and was provisionally offered a place to study history at Cambridge; but, in her A-Level History exam, she did not achieve the A grade she needed to attend. Dormer decided she would audition for drama school and decided to train in London.

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Natalie Dormer as the devious Anne Boleyn in The Tudors.

Initially when I read this I felt so disappointed for Natalie as being an A-Level student just one year ago I empathised majorly for her. However, I came to think that it would have been a great shame if Natalie had gone to Cambridge because then England and America would never had had seen Natalie grace our screen and experience the splendour that is her acting ability.

A tremendous and enigmatic performance.

An excellent adaptation, as well as an inspirational story about a woman who has  to undergo a publicly embarrassing scandal to discover her own worth.

Posted in Women in History, Women in Television | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Always an Unusual Girl.

Lana Del Rey

"It takes getting everything you ever wanted and losing it to 
know what true freedom is".
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Lana Del Rey’s single ‘Ride’ from the album Paradise.

In celebration of her new album; High By The Beach, I have decided to dedicate this post to my favourite piece of poetry created by Lana Del Rey. Taken from the song Ride, this monologue thematically ‘involves parental problems, alcohol consumption, and loneliness. Del Rey’s role in the video was compared to Lolita and A Streetcar Named Desire.’  Known for exploring the darker side of life Lana Del Rey truly is a great role model for anyone who has experienced disappointment and struggles in her life. Moreover, what I love most about her music, is her ability to romanticize certain undesirable and difficult situations, showing that even when the road gets tough, there is always hope. For instance, Lana herself has openly spoken about having a drinking problem in her teens which led her to give up alcohol completely. So, when people criticize her melancholic yet hypnotic music, it makes me upset. This is due to the fact that if you really listen to the lyrics, you can understand how she manages to find the beauty in almost every situation, regardless of how socially acceptable it is to discuss, advertise or promote it.

Personally, I find both the prologue and epilogue of this song moving and extremely beautiful. Enjoy.

Ride Monologue

I was in the winter of my life, and the men I met along the road were my only summer.
At night I fell asleep with visions of myself, dancing and laughing and crying with them.
Three years down the line of being on an endless world tour, and my memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times.
I was a singer – not a very popular one,
I once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet, but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like a million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again, sparkling and broken.
But I didn’t really mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted, and then losing it to know what true freedom is.
When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I’d been living, they asked me why – but there’s no use in talking to people who have home.
They have no idea what it’s like to seek safety in other people – for home to be wherever you lay your head.
I was always an unusual girl.
My mother told me I had a chameleon soul, no moral compass pointing due north, no fixed personality; just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide and as wavering as the ocean…
And if I said I didn’t plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying…
Because I was born to be the other woman.
Who belonged to no one, who belonged to everyone.
Who had nothing, who wanted everything, with a fire for every experience and an obsession for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about it, and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me.

Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people, and finally I did on the open road.
We had nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore, except to make our lives into a work of art.
Live fast. Die young. Be wild. And have fun.
I believe in the country America used to be.
I believe in the person I want to become.
I believe in the freedom of the open road.
And my motto is the same as ever:
“I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself I ride, I just ride.”
Who are you?
Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies?
Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them?
I have. I am fucking crazy.
But I am free.

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Lana Del Rey photographed in the Daily Mail.

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The Foremothers of Feminism.

"We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they
can help free the other half".
- Emmeline Pankhurst. 

With the upcoming release of the highly anticipated Suffragette film, these fantastic feminist film poster have been published. Can it be possible to get any more excited about a film? I think so!

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Posted in Women in Cinema, Women in History | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A ‘Lolita Lost in the Hood’

Lana Del Rey

"She is made to live in the world she creates. She is one who
has been so disappointed by life, she had to create her own 
world."
-James Franco.
The Lolita lost in the hood; Lana Del Rey.

The Lolita lost in the hood; Lana Del Rey.

Wise words from the delightful Lana Del Rey.

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download (1)Also be sure to check out my new Pinterest board; The Saddest Baddest Diva in Rock- Lana Del Rey.

(https://www.pinterest.com/tiabyer/the-saddest-baddest-diva-in-rock/)0261b33adcd37cbbac7acdab040efe4d

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The Face of Modern Feminism.

Emma Watson

" Fighting for women's rights has too often become synonymous 
with man-hating... This has to stop. For the record, feminism
by definition is: 'The belief that men and women should have 
equal rights and opportunities."

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Posted in Women in Cinema | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

A feminist Pinner.

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The Feminist Pinner; Tia Byer (me).

download (1)Can’t get enough with anything to do with Feminism Through Cinema and Literature? Check out my feminist themed boards on Pinterest (https://uk.pinterest.com/tiabyer/).

From Feminist film, photography and quotes, to photos of female icons such as Priscilla Presley, Vivien Leigh and Jackie Kennedy, my Pinterest boards will definitely appeal to your inner feminist. With a total of seven boards for you to looks through, your sure to find a feminist pic worth pinning…

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The Girliest Director in Hollywood.

1.) Feminism Through Cinema and Literature 

Celebrating the ‘most influential feminist icons throughout the history of cinema and literature’, you will find all the images used in this blog. Expect to find a collection of pictures of a Unique Southern Belle, an Iron Lady, an American Princess, an Amazonian Princess, a Proud Mutant and many more.

(https://www.pinterest.com/tiabyer/feminism-through-cinema-and-literature/)

2.) Vivien Leigh 

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Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara.

A board with ‘rare photographs of the British actress Vivien Leigh’. Known as one of the greatest actresses of her time, I first discovered my obsession with Vivien Leigh after I saw Gone With the Wind and was mesmerized by her performance as the “southern belle” Scarlett O’Hara. As well as being a film star, Viven had a 30 year stage career. Most notably, Vivien is remembered for her roles as many Shakespearian heroines, such as Lady Macbeth, Ophelia, Cleopatra and Juliet.

(https://www.pinterest.com/tiabyer/vivien-leigh/)

3.) Jean Simmons

Jean Simmons as Estella.

Jean Simmons as Estella.

This board includes photographs of the ‘beautiful British Actress Jean Simmons’ OBE. One of J.Arthur Rank’s “well-spoken young starlets”, she appeared predominantly in films, beginning with those made in Great Britain during and after the Second World War, followed mainly by Hollywood films from 1950 onwards.  Among her many memorable film roles, my favourite character she portrayed is the cruel and teasing Estella in the 1946 version of Great Expectations. 

(https://www.pinterest.com/tiabyer/jean-simmons/)

4.) Affirmations

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Wise Words.

Full of  ‘inspiring, comforting and positive quotes’, this board is perhaps the most philosophical of my boards.  With quotes ranging from movies to the wise words of celebrities, these pins will inspire and lift you up.

(https://www.pinterest.com/tiabyer/affirmations/)

5.) Pretty Priscilla Presley

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Mrs Priscilla Presley.

My Pretty Priscilla Presley board displays hundreds of pictures, gifs and illustrations of the enchanting ex-wife of Elvis Presley. Being mildly obsessed with anything vintage, Priscilla is not only my style icon, she has become my all time favourite celebrity. One of the original icons of the 20th century, Priscilla Presley’s style during the Fifties and Sixties continues to fascinate today. Flamboyant, individual and always glamorous, the Queen of Rock n’ Roll’s dress sense remains instantly recognizable today and is often emulated by current icons, including Amy Winehouse and Lana Del Rey. She also appears to be the most fashionable, adorable and cutest mother ever.

(https://www.pinterest.com/tiabyer/pretty-priscilla-presley/)

6.) America’s Queen

The Regal First Lady.

The Regal First Lady.

My most recent board includes pictures of America’s Queen: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Known as the most stylish First Lady, as well as in the world, I first discovered my love for Jackie.O when my mum recommended reading her biography. With her famous ensemble of pink Chanel suit and matching pillbox hat has become symbolic of her husband’s assassination and one of the lasting images of the 1960s. She ranks as one of the most popular First Ladies and in 1999 was named on Gallup’s list of Most Admired Men and Women in 20th century America.

(https://www.pinterest.com/tiabyer/americas-queen/)

7.) Girl Power

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Girls are Better; the truth.

Think pink, glitter, diamonds, dresses, art work, fashion and lots of flowers; my Girl Power board celebrates ‘all things girly’. Upon researching the definition of girly in anticipation of creating this, I found several definitions that can be applied to the inspiration behind my favourite board. For example, the urban dictionary describes girly as …

  • A woman who still have a fun, pixie, naughty side.
  • Bright and Bubbly;Cute and a sweetheart.
  • When a girl is very feminine because she chooses to be. It doesn’t make her weak or stupid or ditzy, it just means she likes pretty things.

Enough Said!

(https://www.pinterest.com/tiabyer/girl-power-3/)

So be sure to check out my feminist themed pinterest boards.

Enjoy!

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Posted in Women in Cinema, Women in History, Women in Literature, Women in Music | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments