Last month, AfterEllen.com’s managing editor, Malinda Lo, assembled a panel of esteemed judges to rank the Top 15 Hottest Butches in popular culture. The resulting list created some heated debates among readers and inspired us to create a similar list of our favorite femme characters in film and television.
This time around we, Senior Writer Karman Kregloe and Contributing Writer Dara Nai, limited our panel to two judges (ourselves) and our contestants to ten femmes. Though we did this in an effort to streamline the process, we have no doubt that the femmes we’re ranking would probably interpret our actions as indications of our inherent laziness. And they would tell us so.
Using the time-honored rating system established by Blake Edwards and embodied by Bo Derek in the movie 10, we’ve evaluated the femmes in question based on their possession of the qualities listed below (and ranked them based on a possible 50-point total).
The Ideal Femme Qualities:
Personal Style: Clothes, hair, makeup and the way she carries it off — a femme’s personal flair is what sets her apart from all the others. Admit it — it’s the first thing that catches your eye.
Wit(s): Whether it’s brains, humor or (preferably) both, the best femmes are more than just pretty faces. They can talk their way out of (or, better yet, into) trouble, and if you’re lucky, they’ll take you with them.
Powers of Seduction: The lilt in her voice, the look in her eye, her dance moves, her laugh, her sigh. With her well-honed flirting skills, the ideal femme knows how to drive us to distraction, and we love her for it.
How She Works a Skirt: Tight skirts, miniskirts, pencil skirts (look it up, we did!) — we never met a skirt we didn’t like, except maybe the prairie kind. And our ideal femmes feel the same way.
Weaponry Skills: Whether she’s toting a machine gun or simply armed with a sharp tongue, the best femmes can take care of themselves just fine, thank you very much. Some of them can be downright murderous, even if all they’re assassinating is your (or some other unlucky bastard’s) character.
10. Evie (Nicole Ari Parker) in The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love: The Starter Femme
In Maria Maggenti’s portrait of first lesbian love, future L Word-er Laurel Holloman and Nicole Ari Parker star as teen lovers Randy and Evie, who are stuck in a small town full of narrow-minded twits. Their courtship rankles Evie’s mom, Evie’s friends and the older married woman Randy fools around with in the gas station bathroom. Randy may seem like the rebel of the two, but it’s Evie who risks everything for love.
Karman: There is something kind of dangerous — and therefore hot — about the teen femme who is just coming out of the closet. Is it the instability factor? Maybe she’ll dump you if she decides that she wants to be straight for her senior year after all.
Dara: I think it’s her budding sexuality that’s hot. That, and she had amazing eyes. Evie doesn’t quite know what to do with her feelings at first. Luckily for Randy, she’s not the type of girlfriend to pretend they don’t exist. Not that I know anything about that.
Karman: Or maybe Evie’s appealing because she’s the girl we wish we were having sleepovers with in high school instead of our straight best friends.
Dara: Speak for yourself. Heh.
I mean, shut up!
Evie is smart, cultured and not afraid to piss off her friends by dating a fashion-challenged baby dyke. In fact, I think Evie is an ideal starter girlfriend. She’s not above using her feminine wiles to get some attention ("I think there’s something wrong with my car …"), and she’s willing to hold Randy’s hand in public. What she lacks in danger, she makes up for in grace.
Personal Style: 7
Powers of Seduction: 6.5
How She Works a Skirt: 8.5
Weaponry Skills: 0.5
Total Score: 31 points