4. Ruth (Mary-Louise Parker) in Fried Green Tomatoes: The Iron-Willed Femme
In Fried Green Tomatoes, one of the most lesbian nonlesbian films of all time, Mary-Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson star as Ruth and Idgie, femme and butch "friends" who live together, own a business together, and raise a child together. Gay much? Idgie is as wild as Ruth is devout, and their chemistry-packed dance of opposites attracted a slew of obsessed lesbian fans. If you want to experience them as an actual couple, you’ll have to read the much gayer book (by Fannie Flagg) upon which the film was based. Or just use your imagination, like we do.
Karman: Ruth is a Good Woman.
Dara: I love Mary-Louise Parker in everything.
Karman: Me too, and I love that she played the role so gay even though the filmmakers amputated the overt lesbian stuff from the script. Ruth has the southern belle thing down, and that just oozes femininity. She’s a woman of conviction, evidenced by the Bible she’s always toting and quoting. She doesn’t put up with Idgie’s crap, but she’s not above being rescued either.
Dara: I like her strength. Even on her deathbed she was strong. That’s so Southern.
Karman: She’s the classic iron-willed femme.
Dara: Iron-willed. That’s the essence of a good femme.
Karman: Yeah, and the impossible ones too.
Dara: Well, we like them sassy.
Karman: Sad but true. In terms of weaponry, I don’t know if she’s a good shot, but she knows how to hold her own in a food fight, and her abusive ex did end up as barbeque, so maybe she’s a little dangerous after all.
Dara: Ruth was an excellent partner to Idgie. I give her points for being lovingly impressed when Idgie presented her with a jar full of fresh honey, instead of scolding her for doing something dangerous. What good is risking death by bees if you don’t get the desired response? Who hasn’t done something stupid to show off for a girl?
Karman: You are so onto what I was thinking, too. She knows how to receive. She gave the exact response a butch girl wants when doing gallant things. She didn’t bust her chops or make fun of her, she gave her the "Damn, you’re hot!" response.
Dara: Although if those were killer bees, it wouldn’t have gone so well for ol’ Idgie. Nothing kills the, er, buzz, on your romantic afternoon like a body full of red, puffy bee stings. Not sexy.
Karman: Yeah. Not hot.
Dara: Make a note of that. Stings and welts — not hot. Also not hot: screaming in pain.
Karman: Duly noted.
Personal Style: 6
Powers of Seduction: 8
How She Works a Skirt: 7.5
Weaponry Skills: 7