An Angel No Longer With Us

Farrah Fawcett - IconFarrah Fawcett finally succumbed to cancer and died on the same day as Michael Jackson. Yet there the similarity ends. Whether you rate her as an actress or not (and she was one hell of a lot better than many people gave her credit for), you surely have to admire her courage as she let the cameras record her epic battle with cancer.

Of course, she’ll always be remembered best for her starring role in Charlie’s Angels in the 1970s and who can blame men everywhere for adoring her as she became a symbol of modern femininity for them and fed their fantasies of the new “perfect woman”.

However, it’s my belief that there was more significance in Charlie’s Angels and British shows like The Avengers than many realise. They might have been a bit short on plot here and there and some of the characters were rather two dimensional, but to me  they were all forerunners of the “Lara Croft Syndrome” that has more recently been epitomised by Angelina Jolie and even actresses like Michelle Pfeiffer in Cat Woman.

Farrah and BurtThe fact that the old style feminist movement failed abysmally to understand is that the conspiracy to keep women “in their place” was never a true reality for more than a few men outside of the boardroom. Whilst some Neanderthals did and do undoubtedly still think they could, can and should push women around, most real men see a fit and self-possessed woman as being sexy and desirable. PC attitudes that amount to “dumbing down” reality in the workplace and elsewhere to make things supposedly “equal” for women are frequently no more than window dressing and will always be resented by most men as “cheating” – thus they are generally somewhat counterproductive.

The world is the way it is, not as most of us would like it to be. There are always exceptions, of course, but those of both sexes who are fit, able and competitive will frequently be respected and more successful than those who are not. The fact that a fit, sassy and smart woman is usually also seen as sexy and attractive to many men is no accident, whatever the male public attitude may be when they’re in a bar with their pals – and I suspect it works the other way round too.

Long live the memory and legacy of such icons of feminine competence as Farrah Fawcett.

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