You no doubt noticed it’s almost the law that columnists compile an annual “Best of” list, revisiting the highest and lowest points of the preceding twelve months that caught our eyes and set our tongues to wagging. (Insert how much lesbians love wagging tongues joke here.)
And, Lordy, there is a basketful of tongue-waggers to choose from. Confining the list to the cast of the Trump Administration alone provides enough best/worst/even worster material to fill a moat. (Remember that one? Daffy Don proposed digging a moat and filling it with alligators and snakes at the U.S./Mexico border to enhance his “big, beautiful wall.” Good times.
But here we find ourselves at the end of not just a year, but of a whole decade. It’s no easy task, let me tell you, to winnow down ten years’ of the most noteworthy figures worthy of distinct recognition on just one page. So I will narrow my focus to a few outstanding Women of the Decade.
The Best Performance Depicting Real Lesbian Life Award goes to Cate Blanchett in Carol (2016). There are so many reasons we were entranced, intrigued, and transported by Carol. For lesbians (and the non-lesbians who love them), Blanchett led this brilliant film based on the acclaimed Patricia Highsmith’s sumptuous, ahead-of-its-time novel, The Price of Salt (1952) like a boss. The 1950s-influenced cinematography is almost as sexy as the stop-and-start, should-we-or-shouldn’t-we? intimacy (physical and otherwise) that develops between Blanchett’s Carol and Rooney Mara’s Therese makes our hearts, stomachs, and other parts throb.
Honorable mention: That same film’s Sara Paulson, playing Abby Gerhard who goes to great lengths to protect her best friend, Carol, who coincidentally, is her former lover. It doesn’t get more lesbian than that.
Freaking Bad Ass Award goes to Greta Thunberg. The 16-year-old, Nobel Prize-winning activist not only has confronted world leaders with the dire threat of climate change, but she also plays a mean game of one-up-womanship against Donald “Tweetie McTweeterson” Trump’s bullying ways. Her pithy online responses to presidential bullying are almost as tight as her braids.
Honorable mention: National Women’s Soccer League champion Megan Rapinoe. What is it about strong women that riles up Trump so much? Oh yeah — everything.
The Bringing the Funny Through the Pain Award goes to Samantha Bee as she hosts her brilliant Full Frontal. Anybody who uses stand-up to deliver humor, intelligence and overflowing hutzpah while exposing corruption in such a powerfully estrogenic way — and does so while literally standing up the whole time — should never, never have to do so while teeter-balancing on stilettos.
Honorable mention: Michelle Wolf. The self-described “shrill” comedian’s truth-telling was so disruptive at the 2018 White House Correspondent’s Dinner that the tradition of featuring a comic to skewer political and media attendees was discontinued. Too bad there’s not a Nobel Prize category for that.
The Why Do You Keep Disappointing Us? The award goes to Roseanne Barr. Oh, Roseanne. We’ve seen you through your ups and downs, moments of genius (both television runs of Roseanne) and moments of mania (Tom Arnold). But disappointment has been the primary theme since you’ve pledged your fealty to Trump. He’s rewarding you with the headline slot at New Year’s Eve show on stage at Mar-A-Lago. Some advice, Roseanne: Be sure you get paid, in cash, before you go onstage.
Honorable mention: Ellen DeGeneres. This isn’t about your friendship with warmonger/anti-marriage equality George W. Bush. This is about how creepy it is that you so giddily get off on seeing other people in uncomfortable situations, even though you often pay them handsomely for that privilege. Either stop it or just admit you’re a sadistic John.
Finally, the Woman of the Decade Award goes to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Where to begin? In her capacity of Secretary of State, she was the definition of grace, intelligence, and respect when she was grilled for 11 consecutive hours by the House Select Committee on Benghazi before being found not at fault for the slaying of four state department officials in Libya in 2012. She went on to be the first woman to receive a major party’s nomination for President of the United States. It’s true that she ran an unenergetic, overconfident campaign after the GOP chose a bloated reality television host/alleged rapist/inept businessman/serial liar/mob boss as her opponent. Yes, she won the popular vote by more than three million votes. But it took millions of dollars worth of election collusion with Russian adversaries who feared her power to ensure her loss via the Electoral College. And even though recently she swore to radio geek Howard Stern that she’s never been with a woman, she still has the heart of a lesbian lion. Thanks, Hill.
Honorable mention: Supreme Court of the United States Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The 86-year-old Notorious RBG has endured colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and fractured ribs — not to mention Brett Kavanaugh’s beer breath — to help maintain a sense of SCOTUS judicial balance that is tilting dangerously toward conservative domination. Hang on, Sister. Hang on.