Famous women you learned to like... after recognizing societal misogyny
September 3, 2019 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Hole's "Celebrity Skin" came on shuffle the other day, and my knee-jerk reaction was thinking about how horribly insane Courtney Love is. But then I thought -- wait, why do I even think that? I realized society told me to think that way. So I thought... who else?

I've done a lot of work, as many women have, in undoing my own misogyny, but it surprised me that I have a lot of unexplored, formed-when-younger impressions of known women that have stuck around.

I'm thinking along the lines of Monica Lewinsky -- women who, when treated like regular, fallible human beings, aren't nearly as horrific as their outsized, mainstream-societal reputation would have them be viewed.

I'm an 80s baby so lots of my points of reference will from the 80s and 90s, but I welcome women from all eras. Historical figures, too, probably factor into this.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
posted by knownassociate to Society & Culture (82 answers total) 120 users marked this as a favorite
Yoko Ono
posted by whistle pig at 7:46 PM on September 3, 2019 [99 favorites]

Gloria Allred (especially after watching Seeing Allred)
Yoko Ono

this does not count for me because I’ve always loved her, but some friends of mine have re-evaluated Oprah and, similarly, their ideas about women who watched Oprah
posted by sallybrown at 7:47 PM on September 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Britney Spears
posted by peacheater at 7:50 PM on September 3, 2019 [36 favorites]

Amy Winehouse (have honestly always liked her, but gained new respect after watching the documentary Amy about her).
posted by peacheater at 7:52 PM on September 3, 2019 [14 favorites]

Ellen DeGeneres
posted by hollyholly at 7:52 PM on September 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

Britney Spears! Also, more recently, Kesha (formerly known as Ke$ha).

I still can't stand actually reading Jane Austen, but I used to think she was, like, a fundamentally boring person writing fundamentally dull books, and now I think she was a very insightful person writing books I don't personally care for.

Women comedians in a broad general sense. I used to totally subscribe to the "why do women comedians talk about gross lady stuff so much, why can't they just make jokes like normal comedians" thing, and I think a lot of that was me not realizing a) how much of what dude comedians talk about is, in fact, gross dude stuff, b) how many women comedians are fucking excellent, c) how much I thought "gross lady stuff" wasn't funny because I, a gross lady, was uncomfortable with the whole concept, and d) how many comedians, full stop, are just. Bad. I was chalking up my distaste for female comedians I didn't like up to their gender instead of having the nuance of "Sarah Pascoe is a delight but I could do without Katherine Ryan, and Iliza Schlesinger makes me feel deeply unseen." Part of all this had to do with being so young, but a lot of it was just plain internalized misogyny.
posted by cabbage raccoon at 7:53 PM on September 3, 2019 [21 favorites]

Monica Lewinsky is absolutely (and somewhat shamefully) at the top of my list.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:55 PM on September 3, 2019 [54 favorites]

Dolly Parton was basically a punchline to boob jokes when I was growing up. It took me until a couple years ago to realize she is a brilliant musician and businessperson as well as an all around great person.
posted by whistle pig at 7:59 PM on September 3, 2019 [140 favorites]

Lorena Bobbitt
posted by Sophont at 8:00 PM on September 3, 2019 [47 favorites]

Anita Hill
posted by k8t at 8:05 PM on September 3, 2019 [37 favorites]

There is an excellent long read reconsidering Courtney Love.
posted by k8t at 8:06 PM on September 3, 2019 [10 favorites]

You may be interested in the podcast You're Wrong About. They cover people like Tonya Harding, Anna Nicole Smith, and Jessica Hahn (what she went through is goddamn harrowing).
posted by dogmom at 8:07 PM on September 3, 2019 [40 favorites]

Sinéad O'Connor
posted by kitty teeth at 8:10 PM on September 3, 2019 [55 favorites]

Nthing lots of examples in this thread. I really feel like Mariah Carey falls into this - I don't think she gets proper credence as a songwriter and incredibly well-read lyricist.
posted by thebots at 8:14 PM on September 3, 2019 [31 favorites]

Charo! Growing up I only knew her for her "coochie coochie" and her accent, but she's an extremely accomplished flamenco guitar player and singer-songwriter.
posted by Threeve at 8:29 PM on September 3, 2019 [30 favorites]

Megan Fox! Anyone who stars in a movie like Jennifer's Body is really cool.
posted by yueliang at 8:31 PM on September 3, 2019 [16 favorites]

Oh God, I have a list.

Monica Lewinsky, absolutely. She is so goddamned brave, and somehow still manages to be kind.
Britney Spears
Taylor Swift
Dolly Parton
Jane Austen, who I have come to think of as the greatest novelist of all time
Megan Fox
Romance writers and romance as a genre

I know she's not a real person, but Lois Lane! It took unlearning my internalised misogyny (and finding GOOD depictions of her) to get me to understand her awesomeness.
posted by Tamanna at 8:34 PM on September 3, 2019 [11 favorites]

After I watched the excellent documentary, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, I had to admit that she (Tammy Faye Bakker) had some admirable qualities, like reaching out to AIDS sufferers at a time when they were being shunned by most other televangelists.
posted by alex1965 at 8:38 PM on September 3, 2019 [15 favorites]

All the above, but also female CEOs - e.g. Marisa Meyer of Yahoo seems to get a disproportionate amount of crap, relative to equally boring, run-of-the-mill male CEOs.
posted by Lady Li at 8:44 PM on September 3, 2019 [11 favorites]

I'd put Martha Stewart on the list. Here are some details on the law(s) she broke, so she's not as close to blameless as, say, Lewinsky. But a lot of my willingness to cheer her downfall originated in distaste for her original source of fame.
posted by salvia at 8:45 PM on September 3, 2019 [32 favorites]

Absolutely Monica Lewinsky. When she did the interview with Barbara Walters in 1999, I was surprised that she was the opposite of how she’d been portrayed in the media, and that she actually seemed like the kind of person I could be friends with if we met.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:56 PM on September 3, 2019 [8 favorites]

Sinead O'Connor, for sure. She turned out to be 100% right.
posted by praemunire at 8:58 PM on September 3, 2019 [57 favorites]

Also Alyssa Milano. She was all over the teen magazines back in the day and it really worked my nerves whenever I read about her, probably because the magazines practically put her on a pedestal. However, she’s become a powerful voice for some important causes, and I really like now.

In a way, I think Twitter and other social media help with this kind of thing. When I can see what people have to say in their own words, not filtered through someone else or chosen to fit a narrative, it can really change my impression of them.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:09 PM on September 3, 2019 [5 favorites]

Joan Rivers.
posted by Toddles at 9:13 PM on September 3, 2019 [11 favorites]

Jane Fonda - highly recommend Jane Fonda in Five Acts
posted by Crystalinne at 9:21 PM on September 3, 2019 [16 favorites]

After I watched the 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels (aka Stephanie Clifford), I kinda liked her. She's smart, savvy, and articulate.
posted by alex1965 at 9:25 PM on September 3, 2019 [11 favorites]

Also Dr Ruth - the Ask Dr Ruth doc is amazing. She constantly (and still) battled sexism and conservative ideologies around sex education. And she’s still doing it today.
posted by Crystalinne at 9:26 PM on September 3, 2019 [7 favorites]

Amber Heard: donates $1mm of her divorce settlement. And she was the much less advantaged partner.

She also donated $350,00 to the ACLU, mere days after finalising settlement.

Angelina Jolie: no matter her marriages and relationships, it was always between consenting adults, yet she is lambasted for her behaviour, and never her husbands. And her dedication to humanitarian causes is ridiculed, decade after decade.

Nthing Megan Fox, Dolly Parton, Kesha, Monica Lewinsky.
posted by lemon_icing at 9:53 PM on September 3, 2019 [23 favorites]

Martha Stewart: convicted of insider trading. She sold her stocks based on advice from her stockbroker. She did not receive proprietary information. It was a terrible, petty decision.
posted by lemon_icing at 10:01 PM on September 3, 2019 [9 favorites]

Cleopatra: a fantastically smart ruler doing her best to save her country's way of life, a lifelong veteran of politics managing to play off the most powerful empire in the region for decades, reduced to a seductress in popular culture.

Tudor-wise: all of Henry VIII's wives and his older daughter get a bad rep, but reading some biographies drove home just how strong they were not to break with all that he and history piled on them.

Catherine the Great: there's a reason for her epithet, and again it's hidden under the sexual propaganda.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 10:01 PM on September 3, 2019 [19 favorites]

I recently watched a documentary about Janis Joplin and got a much more nuanced and detailed picture of her life apart from the 60s caricature of a screaming, drug-addled, 40 y/o wino draped in big fur vests and beads.
posted by bleep at 10:10 PM on September 3, 2019 [9 favorites]

Wallis Simpson.
posted by mochapickle at 10:20 PM on September 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

Pamela Anderson and Jenna Jameson both get a lot of undeserved crap.
posted by Weeping_angel at 10:21 PM on September 3, 2019 [7 favorites]

Dr. Jocelyn Elders - misogyny plus racism and sexual puritanism.
posted by salvia at 10:24 PM on September 3, 2019 [17 favorites]

What a timely question! Cathy Guisewite of Cathy comic strip fame, after hearing an episode of The Longest Shortest Time about her today. The comic wasn’t for me, but I like her a whole lot now.
posted by bioubiou at 10:28 PM on September 3, 2019 [11 favorites]

'The mad woman in the attic' is a trope in literature. Think of Bertha, Rochester's first wife in Jane Eyre. So many texts have woman described as mad when they are really just suffering. Calling women names, and ascribing negative qualities to them, is a useful silencing tactic.
posted by Thella at 10:29 PM on September 3, 2019 [14 favorites]

However, she’s become a powerful voice for some important causes, and I really like now.

she profits directly and unashamedly from the sale of hatefully racist merchandise and ignores all attempts at outreach from directly affected parties to educate herself on why this is a horrible and hurtful choice she's made.

Other than that, basically any woman throughout history who has ever been a smug misogynist punchline for a sneering man is a woman worth getting to know a whole lot more about.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:34 PM on September 3, 2019 [19 favorites]

Crikey! She’s hawking NFL merch?!! I had no idea. Thanks for pointing this out, poffin boffin.
posted by lemon_icing at 11:06 PM on September 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

How about Kristen Stewart? Popularly panned for her role in the Twilight films, but she is a damn fine actor if you see her in just about anything else she has been in. Watch Personal Shopper or Clouds of Sils Maria and then tell me that Kristen Stewart can't act.

Also, since I mentioned Twilight, there's also Stephanie Meyer. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I like Twilight (or any of Meyer's writing), but she's no worse than a million men out there writing horny adventure fiction. Don't be mistaken, the Twilight backlash was folks being threatened by female sexuality and blockbuster films aimed at a (younger) female audience and not about just being kinda trashy. In case anybody is interested, there's a good video essay from critic Lindsay Ellis on Meyer and the misogyny around Twilight where she reflects on it and her own Twilight bashing/internalized misogyny. It's called Dear Stephanie Meyer.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 11:27 PM on September 3, 2019 [27 favorites]

I think Madonna would also fall into this category.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:38 PM on September 3, 2019 [12 favorites]

Mary Engelbreit.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:48 PM on September 3, 2019 [5 favorites]

Also, Sylvia Plath. (Actually, I always loved her. But I used to let people make me feel bad about it.)
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:50 PM on September 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Hillary Clinton.
posted by inexorably_forward at 12:04 AM on September 4, 2019 [59 favorites]

I know this is primarily a US list but I would add the British MP Diane Abbott, who gets considerable abuse in the UK, both for her sex and race
posted by TheRaven at 1:10 AM on September 4, 2019 [9 favorites]

Second Diane Abbott and recommend this profile of her from a couple years ago.
posted by rollick at 2:45 AM on September 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Agree with forbiddencabinet about Kristen Stewart being a fine actor and a cool enough person judging from interviews - also liked her a lot more after reading this just a couple days ago.

Other suggestions: how about Dolly Parton’s own goddaughter, Miley Cyrus? a few years ago I used to find her annoying and couldn’t stand her - and I bought into the misogynist bullshit about her being a bad role model or whatever - and now I’ve come to appreciate a lot more both her attitude and her musical and vocal talent (especially since she’s done amazing covers of all sorts of songs).

Another revelation for me is Cara Delevingne. When she’s on talk shows or in interviews she comes across as fun and likeable and sort of goofy, you forget she was a supermodel in the first place. Liked her even more after reading this interview just the other day where this bit of precious schadenfreude against Weinsten is dropped, ha: "these days she has a comfortable attitude to her sexual fluidity and queerness – a far cry from when Harvey Weinstein told her that she would never get ahead in the industry if she was seen with a woman."

Not a coincidence that all three are openly queer and dating other women, not that that alone means anything but it sort of does, at least, to me.
posted by bitteschoen at 5:00 AM on September 4, 2019 [14 favorites]

Bella Abzug. If you read seventies and eighties comics and pop culture stuff, there are a lot of gratuitous knocks at her.

I guess what I'm noticing about the list generated here is that we have not learned to like many women who aren't already famous, wealthy and beautiful. Of course, part of this is that women don't impinge much on the public consciousness unless they're beautiful for starters and then use that beauty either directly to acquire fame and wealth or to open up space to use their other talents to acquire fame and wealth.
posted by Frowner at 6:16 AM on September 4, 2019 [4 favorites]

& for me? Andrea Dworkin. I remember sniggering at a zine that joked about her rape claims. Also Valerie Solanas.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 6:25 AM on September 4, 2019 [14 favorites]

Are you interested in influential fictional characters who have gotten a bad rap? Tracy Flick comes to mind.
posted by sugar and confetti at 6:38 AM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

Wallis Simpson.

I have done two u-turns on her—after reading a biography of her years ago that showed how tough and canny she was (“she’s way more interesting than I thought!”) and then lately hearing more about her ties to racism, eugenics, and Nazis (“bye bye again!”).
posted by sallybrown at 6:45 AM on September 4, 2019 [16 favorites]

Martha Stewart: convicted of insider trading.

She was convicted of obstruction of justice, not insider trading. The fact that it's widely, and wrongly, believed that she was convicted of insider trading perhaps makes her an even better answer to this question.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:46 AM on September 4, 2019 [9 favorites]

Wow, what a great and thought-provoking question. All the above answers resonate with me. For years, I failed to question the fact that society reacted to any woman in any kind of leadership or public-facing role with "who does that bitch think she is?"

The one that really makes me cringe at myself is Erica Jong, author of Fear of Flying . When I first read that novel my reaction was "why didn't that dumb woman go to a female therapist, FFS?" It took me longer than it should have to realize that the entire point was that there were no (or very few) female therapists when she wrote the book.

Things are changing, slowly, but they are. They're changing because we're changing them, one discussion like this at a time.
posted by rpfields at 7:04 AM on September 4, 2019 [10 favorites]

Presented in the press via stereotypes: Serena Williams and the New Jersey Four.
posted by Phyllis keeps a tight rein at 7:12 AM on September 4, 2019 [10 favorites]

My patron saint, Andrea Dworkin. Reviled among feminists even.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 7:25 AM on September 4, 2019 [8 favorites]

Wallis Simpson.

I have done two u-turns on her

Uggggggh. I had no idea. That’s awful. Uturning now. Thanks, sallybrown.
posted by mochapickle at 7:30 AM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

Sondra Locke
posted by magstheaxe at 7:31 AM on September 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've tried to take this sort of similar realization for myself and just make a blanket assumption that any negative feelings I have about any woman, famous or not, are likely rooted in misogyny, and challenge myself to prove otherwise if I really need to. 99% of the time, I don't actually care enough to challenge myself to prove otherwise and I just assume that whatever nonsense assumptions I'm making are probably due to societal bias; the 1% of the time that I do feel strongly enough to make my point to myself, that's when I take time to really sort through "misogynist programming" versus "I actually have a point here," which can be helpful.

So, to answer your question: All of them! Even famous women I do have legitimate dislike for have often been portrayed through a misogynist lens, and I can try to deconstruct the misogyny while still not liking their politics or actions.
posted by lazuli at 7:50 AM on September 4, 2019 [8 favorites]

Amelia Earhart, who, to me, always seems to be ridiculed for being a woman bold enough to attempt something only a man should do.

Nancy Pelosi -- though I don't agree with her on impeachment, I believe she's shown herself to be a more than competent speaker who initially was considered the opposite due to her gender.

Janis Joplin and got a much more nuanced and detailed picture of her life apart from the 60s caricature of a screaming, drug-addled, 40 y/o

Um... she was dead at 27.
posted by dobbs at 7:52 AM on September 4, 2019 [14 favorites]

Björk (prior post with an interview with her by Pitchfork, where she notes that she produces the bulk of her music, but other [male] producers generally get the public credit)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:54 AM on September 4, 2019 [6 favorites]

I cannot believe I forgot Kristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer, especially as a fan of fantasy. Big YES to them, and also seconding that a good chunk of the backlash that Twilight got was on account of that it had icky girl cooties.
posted by Tamanna at 7:55 AM on September 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Mama Cass — first of all, I actually thought she died eating a sandwich. Secondly, well, that about sums it up. A talented musician who I only knew as a punchline because she was fat.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 8:22 AM on September 4, 2019 [29 favorites]

On Miley Cyrus, you should probably read Tressie McMillan Cottom. Unfortunately, a number of the white women on this list have a less-than-great track record with respect to other marginalized groups. Partly the result of patriarchy setting us against each other, but...not always.

I read some Dworkin in law school and thought that while I didn't really agree with it it was by no means as crazy as it was made out to be. (Hm, strange recurring theme in this thread...) Also, unlike many of her intellectual peers, she's not a freaking TERF.
posted by praemunire at 8:29 AM on September 4, 2019 [9 favorites]

Oh God, I forgot my biggest one: Carrie Nation.

I grew up thinking she was against fun, when actually she was against domestic violence.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:34 AM on September 4, 2019 [14 favorites]

Adding another politician to the list; Golda Meir was mocked mercilessly on the world stage for being a dowdy bubbe and yet also simultaneously mannish. Like, she couldn't win. That woman was denied her rightful seat at the table of diplomats and heads of state for decades. Her autobiography "My Life" was so impactful to me because she knew all this and had a lot of thoughts and feelings on the topic but never herself came out to speak against misogyny.
posted by juniperesque at 8:36 AM on September 4, 2019 [5 favorites]

Have people here actually viewed these women negatively, or is this list evolving into "famous women who need to be admired more" or "famous women other people don't like"?

I disliked Gloria Allred because I thought she was a legal scam artist and a glory hound. After learning more about her it became very clear to me that she uses her infamy as a way to both garner attention for cases in which there’s a very lopsided power imbalance (where she’s representing the little guy) and to shield vulnerable clients like rape and sexual harassment victims from the scorn of the public, which ends up directed at her instead. Apart from that, watching her tactics in the Bill Cosby case made clear she’s a hugely skilled litigator, not just a PR ringmaster or great negotiator.

I disliked Yoko Ono because I thought she went after and married a famous guy (in less polite terms, was a starf*cker) and then used his earned fame to get a record deal she wouldn’t otherwise have, producing music that was worse than what he might have produced alone. I changed my view after a lifetime of watching misogyny in action and how it warps what we know about famous women, and a reappreciation of her music and art. (I never much understood or bought the argument that she broke up the Beatles, though.)
posted by sallybrown at 9:03 AM on September 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: These are unbelievably awesome answers, and links (and now we've spawned an FPP)! Thank you -- keep them coming!
posted by knownassociate at 9:28 AM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

Far and away, Hillary.
posted by Dashy at 9:51 AM on September 4, 2019 [9 favorites]

Margaret Sanger. Subject to a systematic and thorough character assassination campaign that continues today. I think she must have been endlessly tired of watching women die.

Zora Neale Hurston's is a story that seems even nearly impossible to tell, her name comes to mind because she was forgotten. Her story is unimaginable, in some regard.
posted by eustatic at 10:10 AM on September 4, 2019 [6 favorites]

This series of 5 posts about Yoko Ono is worth reading: Yoko Ono: A Feminist Analysis (Introduction: Oh Yoko!)
So who is the main purveyor of the Yoko myths? Can we pin it on historians like Bob Spitz? Certainly, they hold part of the blame and need to be called out on it. But no, I blame someone else entirely for the bulk of the treatment and misogynistic cultural perceptions of Yoko Ono, as did John. In the first/next part of this series, they are the people who I’m going to discuss. And their names are Paul, George and Ringo.
posted by Lexica at 10:42 AM on September 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

I will emphatically 2nd Mariah (I stan) for two other reasons as well:
-was perhaps the most famous multiracial / light skinned POC in a time when a lot of media was (more) judgey and weird about it, and fought constantly and vocally against a tide of pressure for her to pass as white
- not only weathered but had a major comeback from the entire nation publicly shaming and ridiculing her for having mental health issues (also happened to Britney)
posted by nakedmolerats at 11:15 AM on September 4, 2019 [6 favorites]

Alana Massey has a chapter about Courtney Love and this very topic in her excellent book 'All the Lives I Want'. Here's an excerpt. I gave the book away but I used to have the last page of that Courtney Love chapter in my phone because it was life-changing. I'd love to read it again.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:34 AM on September 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Not many people mentioning Madonna, but she is the first that comes to mind. Especially starting at 1:35 in the Woman's March speech.
posted by itsflyable at 4:09 PM on September 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oops, that one was the one for the Women in Music Awards - but it IS the speech that I meant to showcase. This one is the transcript of the Women's march speech.
posted by itsflyable at 4:21 PM on September 4, 2019

All of Henry VIII's wives got screwed, but I'm pretty obsessed with Anne Boleyn, and a lot of her more conniving portrayals (The Other Boleyn Girl, the Tudors) were frustrating to me. She was a political creature, but she was also a young woman facing the kind of power imbalance that mowed down every other young woman at court. Hilary Mantel's Anne Boleyn is the first one I've liked, and I hope it influences any Tudor stuff made in the future.

I'm not a passionate fan of the Row or anything now, but I somewhat engaged with that sort of tabloidy lurid interest/contemptuous dismissal of the Olsen twins during the aughts. Looking back...they were famous child stars who were sexualized in a really disgusting way, who held it together through a really gross spotlight and even created a new career afterward. That's impressive, and I'm happy for them.

I don't know that Christina Aguilera was widely disliked for it, but even as a teenager I remember being impressed that Aguilera gave fans a small warning about domestic violence when asked about the guy who recorded elaborate fantasies about kidnapping and murdering his ex. Unsurprisingly, 15 years later, Eminem is still complaining about her.

Hmm...okay, I'll say it. I've found that people who get very excited about disliking Kim K manifest that dislike into racist, classist, slut-shamey screeds. The problem with learning to like a lot of society's favorite punching bags is, well, plenty of them aren't very likable even if you can separate the misogyny out from the other stuff. Misogyny is what gets us obsessive and vitriolic about things that might be waved away from a man. I do try to at least figure out what really bothers me (if something does) about a particular famous woman, and whether I'd feel the same level of irritation with a famous man, and rein in my feelings accordingly. (The Lena Dunham rule? The John Mayer rule? Who knows.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 4:37 PM on September 4, 2019 [9 favorites]

I'll also add Gretchen Carlson into the mix.
posted by SisterHavana at 5:53 PM on September 4, 2019

Elizabeth Gilbert. Eat, Pray, Love actually is bad, but the kneejerk hatred of it felt like it had more to do with a dislike of women's interests than for the bad qualities you'd have to actually read it to know about.

I love her novel The Signature of All Things, and her most recent, City of Girls, is very good. She's also been funny on MBMBaM.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:23 PM on September 4, 2019 [4 favorites]

Monica Lewinsky's Twitter feed is occasionally on fire, in a good way. She has a self-awareness and sense of humor about it, which seems a good sign of what you were saying.

posted by talldean at 6:58 PM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

To some extent, J K Rowling. She gets crucified for having a political opinion in a way no male author does.
posted by peacheater at 7:09 PM on September 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Though of another one - Camilla Parker Bowles, now Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The level of acrimony for her is out of all proportion to her actual actions. It sometimes seems like her main fault was not being as pretty as Diana was.
posted by peacheater at 8:14 AM on September 5, 2019 [9 favorites]

posted by theora55 at 1:07 PM on September 7, 2019 [7 favorites]

Marie Antoinette, anyone? I bought into the stereotype of oblivious rich person, but the Antonia Fraser biography convinced me to exhibit some mercy towards her memory. The 2006 film was pretty to look at.
posted by olopua at 10:28 AM on September 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

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