This article was contributed by one of our viewers. It was previously posted on my mother’s website years ago. Though Marilyn Monroe had some personal problems, she was definitely female and knew how to use feminine power. Some might argue that she used it for personal or selfish purposes, nevertheless, she mastered this very womanly quality. There is no doubt she was feminine. Something all women need and should value.
Marilyn Monroe Tribute - By Denise Noe
It was August 5, 1962 when Marilyn Monroe died at the age of 36, in what the Los Angeles coroner declared a probable suicide. Over four decades later, her fame is as great if not greater than it was during her lifetime. So many sex symbols have been forgotten while MM continues to gather new fans and admirers even from those who were not yet a gleam in their daddies’ eyes when she died. Endless books have been written about her. She has inspired artists as disparate as Norman Mailer, Gloria Steinem, Elton John, Andy Warhol, and Andrea Dworkin.
What is the secret of her fascination? Part of it comes from her being so utterly feminine. In River of No Return, Robert Mitchum’s character warns Monroe’s, “Do that again and I might forget you’re a woman.” “I doubt that,” she tells him and the audience doubts it even more. In a comedic radio program, Monroe commented that she could not understand the fuss over her since, “I’m only a woman,” and receives the astute reply, “but you’re so good at it.”
Perhaps Monroe could only have risen to fame during the 1950s when Rosie the Riveter had headed home and traditionally feminine qualities were being re-emphasized for women. Of course, “femininity” has had something of a bad reputation since the second wave of the women’s movement began in the 1970s. Many feminists associated the word with victimization, subservience, silliness, and other negatives.
Femininity is also associated with the “dumb blonde” stereotype that Monroe depicted so endearingly in her comedies. As an intelligent person who was painfully self-conscious about her lack of formal education, MM feared that audiences might think she was as ditzy as some of the characters she played and that fear may have contributed to her insecurity.
However, there are positive qualities that are traditionally feminine and Monroe possessed them to the nth degree. Her sweetness, warmth, and childlike vulnerability aroused a fierce protectiveness in both men and women. Perhaps her childlike aspect was what drew us closest to her.
What would have happened to Monroe if she had survived to grow old? Many believe her career would have faded away and that she is a prime example of the cynical adage, “Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse.” In the opinion of these critics, a wrinkled Monroe with a sagging body would have had no career.
I disagree. Monroe was a good actress and an excellent comedienne gifted with exquisite timing. Her sweetness and vulnerability could have survived into middle age and beyond as she matured into a winsome character actress.
Taking her craft seriously, Monroe studied acting, saying she wanted to be more than “an erotic freak.” But she was always more than that -- much more. Monroe’s fame was not based on her ability to arouse lust, as countless other actresses have done, but on her unique ability to touch our hearts. Her tragedy was that she never knew how much we cared. We still do. We always will.