Want to see some pictures of women with martinis? Well of course you do.
In his rather good book Martini Straight Up Lowell Edmunds theorizes that the martini is a drink of ambiguities, civilized and uncivilized, sensitive and tough, a drink that unites and a drink that separates.
And one of its more interesting ambiguities, if you ask me, is that IT can be very masculine but also very feminine, or do I mean gender fluid? Sure, it’s associated with the James Bonds and Roger Sterlings of this world, but it’s equally associated with women.
Nora Charles of Thin Man fame must have a good claim to be the first famous female character to be associated with the martini, although she was usually drinking them with husband Nick.
Actually I always had a bit of trouble with the Thin Man novels because it seemed to me that Nick and Nora drank so much it was hard to believe they’d ever find their way to the door, let alone out into the world to track down clues and villains.
Perhaps the drinking wasn’t meant to be taken seriously, and in recent years the American sitcom has often featured, and sometimes it seems that it’s required to feature, the slutty, inebriate, martini-drinking gal pal.
I suspect Endora in Bewitched was a precursor of this, though it being the times, and she being a mother-in-law, she wasn’t slutty in the current sense.
But consider Christine Baranski in Cybill, and also consider her often quoted remark, “Really, can anyone drink several martinis at lunch?:
Consider Megan Mullalley in Will and Grace:
Consider Kim Cattrall in Sex and the City, here she is drinking a martini on a plane – which is very fancy, if a little improbable.
Consider Jessica Walter in Arrested Development:
Consider Krysten Ritter in (I think) Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23:
I’m sure there are those who’d say that alcoholism in women isn’t the very funniest of comedy tropes, but hey, it’s only entertainment. However, if you really want a fictional, female martini drinker, it’s going to be hard to beat this fatal dame on the cover of Man Hater by J.X. Williams:
The guy’s fallen over the balcony to his doom, and she’s still got half her drink left. And although she’s naked, she’s kept her high heels on, which frankly is the kind of man hating that a lot of men can live with.