When it comes to strong, inspiring women — women who have the courage, the gumption, the balls, if you will, to stand up for what they believe in — my list includes (in no particular order): Eleanor Roosevelt, Ellen DeGeneres, Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, Rosa Parks, Gloria Steinem, Billie Jean King.
And if I want some popcorn with my inspiration, then these are the female movie roles that fit the bill.
Scarlett O’Hara (Gone with the Wind) — Love her or hate her, you have to admit — this woman had ballgowns, and balls, to spare.
Tootsie — As Dorothy Michaels (the female character played by a man) she had more balls than Michael Dorsey (the male character who played her). Dustin Hoffman played them both. Major cojones.
Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird) — Talk about fearless. I want to be Scout when I grow up.
Thelma and Louise — Gutsy, gorgeous, get-out-of-town amazing.
Baby (Dirty Dancing) — Strong-minded, intelligent, want-to-change-the-world Baby learns to dance, to stand on her own two feet, to take a stand. And to do that lift (okay, Johnny Castle helped with that last one).
Laine Hanson (The Contender) — Nerves-of-steel VP candidate stands up to the sexist opposition looking to ruin her. And delivers a spot-on kick in the balls.
Rose (Titanic) — High-society girl drowning in a shallow, moneyed life gives it all up for true love. And learns how to hold on.
My lesson learned? Speak softly (or loudly) and carry a big pair.
© 2013 Claudia Grossman