What’s Female for Curmudgeon?

Let’s face it, the cranky old woman is not a beloved icon. Where’s my role model? Miss Manners looked forward to a tyrannical old age, but you can’t pull that off at 50-something unless you are Queen Victoria or Ivana Trump. Oh Goddess, I feel so out of sync– all cranked up and nowhere to go.

But I don’t feel totally alone. My husband spontaneously expressed the same cranky opinion I’ve been harboring. ‘Avatar’ is a woofer. We are both kind of suspicious of blockbuster movies, and I (unfairly) disliked James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ because all those people drowning really killed the romance buzz. Still, it seems terribly rude to diss a movie I haven’t seen.

But it’s not censorship. I’m not a censor. My little cranky opinion has no force against the tsunami of popularity ‘Avatar’ has gained. I didn’t contribute to the box office take. That’s not a boycott. I’m just critiquing the movie ads and reviews (which I get for free). And some readers may recall that I had the same reservations about indie hit, ‘District 9’.

The thing is, I took General Science in 1971 at Pilgrim High School, and I can’t figure out why space aliens would look like us. Well, actually, they don’t look like me. The blue people on Avatar look like models from Abercrombie and Fitch, only blue with spots and prettier. (it would be awesome if the humans only perceived them that way, and actually they were little homunculus, but that was an old Star Trek, also a short story by James Tiptree Jr., who was a girl.) Most of my working life is spent with people who are too outside to be permitted to be seen on TV or the movies, so forgive me if I find more exoticism going to my corner store for some milk. And the print sci-fi I’ve been reading since those High School days continues to be transgressive and scary and not commercially safe at all. Though I don’t read much anymore, the 21st Century being so interesting.

Nomi’s site, ‘I Dreamed I Saw Grace P. One Day’ has a wonderful post by Thomas Kalinowski about the nerds who just had to write, and a guy called Isaac Asimov, and how they did what they did. Check it out here, if you like that kind of thing. I do.

7 thoughts on “What’s Female for Curmudgeon?

  1. Nice post, I enjoyed reading it!
    But I still don’t know what the female version of Curmudgeon is. Does it follow the Smurf/Smurfette rule? Curmudgeon is defined as ‘a cranky old man‘, and while there are a bevy of colorful adjectives to describe cranky old women, I still want to know what directly corresponds to curmudgeon for the fairer sex .
    Until I find that elusive term, I’m stuck with labeling myself a b*tch, which is so predictable and boring. And, in my mind, misses the mark.

    Thank you for your insights, NinjaNurse,
    I’m just a b*itchy, curmudgeon-type woman who was just passing by,
    Debi 🙂

  2. Try Jack Vance or Michael Shea.
    Clark Ashton Smith and Stanley Weinbaum are also great from the classic era.Very imaginative stuff-Weinbaum’s “A Martian Odyssey”is exactly what you’re talking about when you describe aliens as distinctly devoid of human characteristics.

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