Some of the most common traits of the femme fatale
include promiscuity and the rejection of motherhood.
This is seen as one of her most threatening qualities.
By denying his immortality it punctures male vanity.
Her seductive power subverts bourgeois conventions.
A femme fatale, sometimes called a maneater or vamp
[vampiress], is a stock character in films and pulp fiction.
She’s a mysterious and seductive woman whose
charms trap her lovers, often leading them into
compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations.
Feminism has left no room to acknowledge our
dark side. Dark sides are important. They should
be nurtured like nasty black orchids.
Characters built on shallow “girl power” ideals
lack the complexity and messiness that make women and
women’s experiences interesting and emotionally resonant.
One solution to the problem lies in the femme fatale,
one of the few fictional archetypes that allow women
to be mean, scary, conflicted, lustful, and greedy
— in short, to be villains.
What makes the femme fatale deeply interesting is her
emotional realism, the way in which she knows what
she wants and how to get it, refuses to compromise,
yet visibly struggles with her conflicting emotions
and motivations the entire time.
She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty and may even revel
in it, yet she possesses an underlying combination of rage
and sadness stemming from the fact that she has to resort
to deception and crime to gain any kind of power in this world.
Femme Fatale is a French phrase that means something like
a “destructive woman” in the erotic sense, a woman who
leads a man astray. It goes back to the 19th century when
it was still part of European culture to assume that
bad relationships were due to women’s selfishness, seductiveness,
greed, or any other term you want to use to make it seem her fault.
Femme Fatale is often used in detective novels to imply
a wicked woman who uses men to get what she wants.
The underlying trope is that a woman’s sexual allure
is irresistible to men, for which hecan’t be held
accountable, even if it was his idea to rob the bank
/cheat at cards/steal the jewels.
The femme fatale persists in popular culture.
“Femme Fatale” is the name of both Britney Spears’
2011 album and the lingerie line launched by
burlesque star Dita Von Teese.
In Rihanna’s wickedly fun video for “Bitch Better
Have My Money,”the singer is a bikini-clad, blunt
-smoking femme fatale whotortures the wife of her
accountant in a bid to recover the money he owes her.
In Orange Is the New Black, Laura Prepon plays Alex, an alluring
con artist who seduces Piper (not a man this time, but a victim
nonetheless), convincing her to transport drug money, then dances
in and out of involvement with her.
A “femme fatale” is a very seductive woman who leaves
a man worse off than the way she found him.
The inspiration for this song was actress Edie Sedgwick,
who was a member of Andy Warhol’s “Factory” crowd.
Warhol was the manager of the Velvet Underground for a time,
and good friends with Velvet Underground leader Lou Reed.
He asked for this song to be written for Edie,
playing up her image as a heartbreaker.