The Second Annual Pink DildOscar Awards®
Amanda, we miss you and remember you always. You continue to inspire us every day and we shall never forget your strength, your sense of humor, and your unbreakable optimism.
So, what does it take to deserve a Pink DildOscar Award™? First, you have to be female, which leaves Chaz Bono out (SO close, Chaz ... you should've kept the "Tity" -- both of them). Second, you must be inspiring. Third, and we can't stretch this enough, you have to make us proud of owning heavenly folds and chichis. You have to change the way we think of ourselves in a positive way and exorcise the demons that lie in the self-image of women around the world after almost a decade of Hilton and Lohan exposure.
Enough foreplay. Let the humping begin:
Queen Rania Of Jordan
Aside from being named the third most beautiful woman in the world by Harpers and Queen magazine, she is currently ranked 81st on Forbes list of the world's most 100 powerful women. Queen Rania was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents. She earned her degree in Business Administration from American University in Cairo. In 1993 she married King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein, Prince at the time. He decreed her Queen in March of 1999. They have four children. She describes herself humbly as a regular working mother and considers the title of "Queen" merely a job. Queen Rania has represented Jordan on the public stage in many countries. She is renowned for her work on education, child protection, family safety, economic growth, and women's rights. Queen Rania is involved in many different charitable organizations focusing on women's rights and youth culture. She created her own YouTube series to debunk many of the myths revolving around Islam and was given a YouTube visionary award. Who even knew that existed? She is intelligent, beautiful, charming, and all around awesome. Don't believe me, check out her Twitter!
Dr. Jane Goodall
Today little girls admire Dora the Explorer, but when I was a kid, my hero was the real thing: Dr. Jane Goodall, a woman who inspired me to take my love of animals seriously and translate compassion into action. Dr Goodall has spent over 60 years mobilizing action on behalf of endangered wildlife species, especially chimpanzees. A Cambridge-educated ethologist, she became well known early in her life for her groundbreaking studies on the lives of African chimpanzees, specifically those living in the Gombe National Park in Tanzania. In 1977 she established the Jane Goodall Institute, an international organization that works to conserve and protect African wildlife and forests, while taking very seriously the needs of local people and involving communities as partners in all aspects of the Institute's work. She also founded "Roots and Shoots," a youth action program started with Tanzanian students which now flourishes in over 100 countries and has empowered tens of thousands of students to make a difference in their communities and the world. At 75, she shows no signs of slowing down in her passionate quest to educate, involve, and protect. She travels the world tirelessly, advocating for the environment and animal welfare in many arenas, and receiving prestigious awards as a humanitarian, peacemaker, and environmentalist. Dr. Jane Goodall is a superhero and I still want to be her when I grow up.
Sarah Haskins took the Internet and our ovaries by storm when she started doing her "Target: Women" series over at current.com. Basically, she tackles preconceived notions of what women are like and mocks them. We like candles, yogurt, work non-specific media jobs, and take pills to avoid getting pregnant. I'm sorry, I meant we take pills for "period control." For several years women have had the ball when it comes to consumption, and we're used to being targeted by the ad executives. Maybe some of them have led us to believe we really are as they portray us. But Sarah Haskins is not afraid to call bullshit on them and pointing out how wrong they got us. Also, she can mock women and still be a feminist about it. I'm sure we've all run into a stupid bitch every now and then, but Haskins doesn't deliberately point a finger and laugh. She does it subtly (sometimes) and with wit so those dumb bitches can't tell.
In a move sure to later embarrass when the torture dungeon is found in her basement, I currently adore Fitness Trainer Jillian "Kill 'Em All" Michaels. Like Henry Rollins with a vagina, she lovingly rages against the core causes of soaring health care costs, the culture of female self-sabotage, and all manner of general whining, nonsense and tomfuckery. Nick Cave once said, "A cliché is an image so powerful it falls into overuse." If Jillian Micheals standing over a food-addicted woman yelling "Beatings, Beatings, and more Beatings!" is what it takes to save a life without surgery, pills, and quackery, I'll happily buy into this cliché.
The Golden Girls
I award this year's fabulous Pink DildOscar to the Golden Girls: both the characters and the actresses who portrayed them. Bea Arthur (Dorothy Zbornak), Betty White (Rose Nylund), Rue McClanahan (Blanche Devereaux) and Estelle Getty (Sophia Petrillo), you have all been great friends indeed. Golden Girls confirmed what fun a group of girls can have together, no matter their ages. In each character, any of us could find a little bit of ourselves, our mothers or grandmothers. Dorothy, you were our sensible and cynical side, Rose -- our inner blond. Blanche, you spoke for our sexpot selves and Sophia, you are that riotous personality we hope to have in our own golden years.
Bea Arthur kicked Hollywood ass, with an amazing career on stage, television, and film, and was honored with a Tony and two Emmy Awards. The characters she portrayed were strong, liberated women who always spoke their minds, and her comic timing was impeccable. Betty White, 87 and a six-time Emmy winner, continues to be a comedic gem. From her sardonic Sue Ann Niven to her dim Rose Nylund to her sly and calculating Catherine Piper, Betty's range has won us over (and she can still make us blush).
Rue McClanahan is an Emmy winning star of Broadway, film and television, who at 75 is a series regular (Sordid Lives: The Series) on the Logo network. She made a successful transition from daytime soap operas to respected roles like best friend Vivian to Bea Arthur's Maude and slutty, southern belle Blanche on Golden Girls. Estelle Getty, our final Golden Girl, also starred on stage, television, and film. Her willingness to be made up to look older than the woman who played her daughter rewarded her with her most recognizable character and an Emmy award. As Sophia, Estelle beautifully trod that line between dim and genius.
Of, by, and for the chicks, I declare the Golden Girls to be strong, liberated, funny, and admirable -- and now the owners of a big, plastic, dildo-shaped award. - Cindy
She doesn't get nearly enough credit for making the US Version of "The Office" as successful as it is. And that's why she's getting my DildOscar, because I want people to love her as much as I do. On the show, she plays Kelly Kapoor, the gleeful pop culture queen of Dunder Mifflin who's a bit dim and has terrible taste in men, and Kaling plays her with complete joy and abandon. Even though her character isn't exactly the feminist ideal, Kelly is that girl we all know and can't help but love, even though if she sometimes annoys the bejeesus out of us. And not only that, but Kaling has written what are without doubt some of the best episodes The Office has ever had (and all my favorites), including "The Dundies," "The Injury," "Ben Franklin," and "Niagara," the spectacular wedding episode this season. A Dartmouth graduate and a co-executive producer of the show, she has a gift for hilarious dialogue, snappy one-liners, and crafting those sweet, real moments that we love on the show. In short, she's one of the funniest, smartest women working in TV today, and I hope she sticks around for a very long time.
Octavia E. Butler
She understood exactly how exploring alternate universes could reveal the secrets of our own. An African-American science fiction writer, she used her amazing talent to tackle social issues in otherworldly contexts. She delved into slavery ... in a book about time travel. She tackled sexual ambiguity ... in a novel about aliens. She explored racism ... in a story about vampires. Her work received several Hugo and Nebula awards, and in 1995, she was the first science fiction writer to be awarded a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant. Not bad for a shy, dyslexic girl who grew up poor, the daughter of a shoeshiner and a maid. But the best thing about Butler's distinguished career? She broke down barriers, both as a woman and an African-American, and for that, she deserves a DildOscar. In her "About the Author" blurb in her novels, Butler wrote of herself: "I'm ... comfortably asocial -- a hermit in the middle of Seattle -- a pessimist if I'm not careful, a feminist, a black, a former Baptist, an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive." Luckily for us, her drive far outweighed her laziness, and her legacy will live on in her remarkable writings.
L'Engle wrote some of my favorite books from childhood, though I enjoy them just as much as an adult. Who didn't read A Wrinkle in Time with a shiver of understanding, a thrill of recognition? Her main protagonist, Meg, was an outcast, a mathematical genius and, most of all, brave -- a complicated array of traits not often assigned to female characters. Her characters are noble, but never perfect. They don't succeed in spite of their flaws but shine because of them. Her works combine the wonder of science fiction with the strangeness of growing up and maturing -- a hard balance to strike. But L'Engle managed it gracefully and with great beauty, giving generations of girls higher aspirations than the vapid Sweet Valley teens ever could. While all of her writings have a spiritual leaning, she never pushes, she never chastises; she simply offers up the fact that we are all connected and important. Though I haven't read many of her books since I was a girl, her message has resonated through the years.
"For the things that are seen are temporal, but things that are unseen are eternal." -A Wrinkle in Time
Battlestar Galactica's Laura Roslin, President of the Twelve Colonies
At the beginning of the series, Secretary of Education Laura Roslin learns she has terminal cancer. A few hours later, she survives a holocaust only to learn that as highest ranking government official left alive, she is now President of humanity's remaining survivors. While haunted by her prognosis, Roslin rejects self-pity and takes on her responsibilities with stoic resolve. She learns quickly, develops a necessary ruthlessness, and stands firm against her challengers. Though Roslin rarely laughs, when she does, it's an effervescent, unaffected cackle. While slow to anger, her wrath is a force of nature. Roslin keenly feels the gravity of her position, yet she never makes apologies for who or what she is: not for her illness, her spirituality, or her relationship with the fleet's admiral. She maintains a nearly unshakable grace warmed by a motherly, heartfelt compassion. For all of this, Laura Roslin is more than a political figurehead. She is a figurative guardian angel, a surrogate mother, and a symbolic queen. She is also quite possibly the strongest fictional role model for women in recent television history.
Currently starring in "Glee" as vicious-with-an-occasional-glimpse-of-human (and viciously funny) cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, she's probably best known for her roles in Christopher Guest's largely improvisational films (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration). A quick glance at IMDb, though, shows 130+ credits in television, movies, and on stage, from quick guest roles to full-on leads, and even commercials and video-game voiceover roles. She's pretty much everywhere, and rightly so. She works equally well with scripted material and improvisation, and has comic timing that would make Bea Arthur (whom Jane has cited as a role model) proud. To me, though, the greatest thing about this woman, and why I admire her so much, is that she doesn't identify as gay, which is a trap a lot of women fall into (or are forced into, perhaps) ... she just *is* Jane Lynch. When people hear about comediennes like Rosie O'Donnell or Ellen DeGeneres, they tend to think "lesbian." But with Jane, it's just "that funny chick who's in everything." I think it goes a long way toward not just mainstream acceptance for gay actors, per se, but also toward thinking of people in terms of who they are as a whole rather than simply labeling them one thing or the other. Most people are far more complicated than that, and I believe she brings that into the light. She's not just "Jane Lynch, Lesbian," and nobody else has to be, either.
Warrior Queen Lifetime Achievement Award -- Judge Judy Sheindlin
Come on, do we really have to tell you why Judge Judy takes the ultimate prize? In case your head ain't working right, we'll elaborate on her all-around awesomeness. She's wicked smart, professional, and is always willing to explain things to people who can't tell the difference between convenient and right. It's astounding to me to realize that after thirteen seasons of Judge Judy so many women still go to her court to sue ex-boyfriends for not returning their money, money they flat out gave them. But there is Judge Judy to help them snap out of it, even if she has to call them morons or "marginal people." Judy Sheindlin also adds brains to feminism and demands intelligence from women; she understands that we have responsibilities and that we have to be smart about our choices. Her inescapable bullshit detector and witty ways of getting people to understand what they've done wrong have led everyone who has ever stepped on her court (and everyone watching her from home) to respect her. You don't honestly thing you can fool someone who wrote a book called "Don't Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It's Raining," did you?
Paheeba Day is dedicated to the memory of Amanda Amos, our beloved AlabamaPInk. All advertising revenue earned today will be donated to her son's college fund, so click away.
Paheeba Day was brought to you by The Pajibettes. They are:
Anna von Beaverplatz
Production took place in the Temple of Godtopussy, a.k.a. our Secret Lair, a.k.a. The 'Bette Cave. No boys or clothes allowed (once again, sorry, Chaz Bono. Alexis Arquette: you're more than welcome to drop by).