Saturday, December 2, 2006

“Well-behaved women rarely make history”

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

I like to think of myself as a spunky, feisty lady--especially by some of the definitions of feisty that I've gathered from various sources:

showing courage; "the champion is faced with a feisty challenger;" confident, spirited, lively, plucky, spunky, go-getting, bold, assertive

THIS IS ME, the feisty lady about to be married to John Worst on August 28, 2004.

Who is my chief "feisty lady" role model?

Well, I'm not really sure. I write about many wonderful women in church history on my site Daughters of Eve. You will find great role models there.

But what if I were to name the Virgin Mary?

My friend Scot McKnight in his wonderful book The Real Mary gives me reason to believe she was truly a feisty lady. He writes:

"It may seem counter-intuitive to say so, and I mean this with all respect: Mary was not a 'nice' girl. If 'nice' means meek and mild and mind-your-own-business, then Mary was not nice. In fact, Mary scared 'nice' passive girls because she was dangerously active. Instead of minding her own business, Mary was minding Herod's and, as we shall see, Caesar Augustus's. And well into Jesus' own ministry, we will see that Mary minded Jesus' business, too. . . .

"Here's why those statues bother me: Because the Mary of the Bible is never portrayed as somber-faced or emotionless. Mary was a muscular, wiry woman whose eyes were aglow with a dazzling hope for justice and whose body evoked a robust confidence in the God who was about to turn the world upside down through her son." (26-27)

TERMS FOR WOMAN (many deragatory)

amazon, virago - a large strong and aggressive woman

maenad - (Greek mythology) a woman participant in the orgiastic rites of Dionysus

baggage - a worthless or immoral woman

ball-breaker, ball-buster - a demanding woman who destroys men's confidence

B-girl, bar girl - a woman employed by a bar to act as a companion to men customers

bas bleu, bluestocking - a woman having literary or intellectual interests

broad - slang term for a woman; "a broad is a woman who can throw a mean punch"

cat - a spiteful woman gossip; "what a cat she is!"

Cinderella - a woman whose merits were not been recognized but who then achieves sudden success and recognition

coquette, flirt, minx, prickteaser, vamp, vamper, tease - a seductive woman who uses her sex appeal to exploit men

gentlewoman, ma'am, madam, lady, dame - a woman of refinement; "a chauffeur opened the door of the limousine for the grand lady"

deb, debutante - a young woman making her debut into society

divorcee, grass widow - a divorced woman or a woman who is separated from her husband

exwife, ex - a woman who was formerly a particular man's wife; "all his exes live in Texas"

dominatrix - a dominating woman (especially one who plays that role in a sadomasochistic sexual relationship)

donna - an Italian woman of rank

enchantress, femme fatale, temptress, Delilah, siren - a woman who is considered to be dangerously seductive

eyeful - a strikingly beautiful woman; "she was a statuesque redheaded eyeful"

geisha, geisha girl - a Japanese woman trained to entertain men with conversation and singing and dancing

fille, girl, miss, missy, young lady, young woman - a young woman; "a young lady of 18"

girl - a friendly informal reference to a grown woman; "Mrs. Smith was just one of the girls"

lady friend, girlfriend, girl - a girl or young woman with whom a man is romantically involved; "his girlfriend kicked him out"

gold digger - a woman who associates with or marries a rich man in order to get valuables from him through gifts or a divorce settlement

gravida - a pregnant woman

heroine - a woman possessing heroic qualities or a woman who has performed heroic deeds
inamorata - a woman with whom you are in love or have an intimate relationship

jezebel - a shameless impudent scheming woman

jilt - a woman who jilts a lover

lady - a polite name for any woman; "a nice lady at the library helped me"

maenad - an unnaturally frenzied or distraught woman

matriarch - a feisty older woman with a big bosom (as drawn in cartoons)

mestiza - a woman of mixed racial ancestry (especially mixed European and Native American ancestry)

kept woman, mistress, fancy woman - an adulterous woman; a woman who has an ongoing extramarital sexual relationship with a man