The Femme Fatale

To a smart girl

men are not the problem,

they’re the answer.

Zsa Zsa Gabor


A bit of noir for Halloween?  This series is a tribute to the femme fatale, French for “deadly woman,” that mythical figure in film and literature of the irresistible woman who lures men to their downfall with seemingly supernatural powers. On my recent cruise down the Rhine river, she’s Loreley whom careless sailors blamed for their sunken ships. In Biblical history, she’s the one Adam pointed a finger at, whining, “She made me eat it!” She’s famously associated with noir films: glamorous, sexy, strong, duplicitous, sometimes lethal. She uses her charms on a male protagonist, usually a lonely man grateful for her attention and is willingly manipulated into unscrupulous acts.

Now that contemporary women are bent on professional success, women may bristle at the thought that they can only get what they want through entrapment, artifice, and seduction rather than through meritocratic achievement. We want to downplay, if not deny, the power of our sexuality as a tool to employ in navigating our place in the world.

Not the femme fatale.

She is at ease with her femininity and hold men in her thrall. She brings out their chivalry, the hero, the protector they want to be. She may want them to commit irrational acts yet they’ll be eager to please.  The femme fatale may be a man’s nightmare, but she is also his fantasy: a woman in charge of her own sexuality who’d take charge of his as well.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your favorite femme fatale. Happy Trick or Treat!







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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Evita on the Peso

Give me a balcony in every town and 

I will win their hearts.

A deposed president of Ecuador cites Eva’s success

The iconic Evita Peron has been honored in song, in film, on Broadway, and last week, on the 60th anniversary of her death, her face now graces Argentina’s 100 peso currency–the only woman to be honored in this very manly country’s banknotes.

From “Simply Irresistible” by Ellen T. White:

Pale, humorless, and uneducated, she used the only capital she had at her disposal–an uncanny ability to seem heaven sent.  Some say Evita slept her way to the top, but if sex were all it took, any number of women might have taken her place.  What was the magic dust she sprinkled on their eyes?

Evita’s lessons for every Goddess:

1. Take the higher road.   Keep a physical, as well as psychological, upper hand.  Always stand tall and establish a regal presence by throwing your shoulders back and keeping your chin up.

2. Create an air of quiet mystery.  Evita had no talent for conversation, but it seems the less said, the better.  Her unexpected silences made others a tad nervous and eager to please, yearning for more, curious to know what’s on her mind.  Leave a lot to the imagination and set yourself apart from the reality TV crowd that’s eager to tell all.

3. Overdress for success.  She charmed the masses by addressing them as “My descamisados” (shirtless ones) while maintaining a closet that was very far from empty. Even if you don’t own designer clothes or a crown, make an effort to look queenly.  Always wear what makes you feel like a million–and never tell where you got it for less. 😉

4. Choose your words.   Evita’s rise to power erased records of her mongrel birth.  Officially sanctioned accounts of her early years began to sound like myth: “Like Venus… Eva Peron was born from the sea.”  Jobless?  No, my dear, I’m between opportunities. Held on drug charges a decade ago?  That was a wild experiment in spiritual growth.  Divorced more times that you can count?  I’m passionate and tend to leap before I look.  As they say, “It’s never too late–in fiction or in life–to revise.”

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to tell us what makes you feel like a million.

 © Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Makeup by Kristen Pickrell


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