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"Why I'm Emma Peel"

 
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 12:17 am    Post subject: "Why I'm Emma Peel" Reply with quote

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/04/18/avenging-avatar-why-im-emma-peel/

My name is Suzi but people call me Emma.

As my WomanUP colleague, Joann M. Weiner wrote, my name has a "solid pedigree." It's the name of a sexy 1950s cover model and actress -- Suzy Parker. But my mom didn't name me after her. She just loved the name "Susie" and every dog she ever owned was named "Susie." Then, she had a daughter. Guess what? She named me "Susie." For years, the best I could do to claim the name was tinker with the spelling.

In the early 1990's I had become obsessed with re-runs of "The Avengers " the sleek 1960s British spy show that featured Diana Rigg as the catsuit wearing and brilliant Emma Peel and Patrick McNee as mysterious spy John Steed.
Emma had the life I wanted. She wore glamorous designer clothes and leather outfits while sitting in smoky pubs meeting diabolical masterminds who wanted to take over the world. Emma looked equally comfortable wielding a sword, pulling a gun or dispatching an opponent with a well-placed karate job chop. Oh, and she never messed up her brunette flip even when she was toppling terrorists.

My world of being Emma began in 1995 the early days of the Internet. The worldwide web was still an unknown world where cyberstalkers lived to lure boys and girls. "Don't dare use your real name," people told me. "It's a scary place."

I chose Emma Peel for my nom de email. Poof! I was transformed.
Then something kinda strange happened. I'd email people and they would return with "Dear Emma." Male editors of a particular age those who remembered seeing the original Avengers would email me back simply because Diana Rigg had been their teenage fantasy. Some even asked if I was wearing a leather catsuit.
"Need a Mr. Steed?" some asked.

In later episodes of "The Avengers," a tagline became popular "Mrs. Peel, you're needed." If only I had a dime for every time an email came my way with that line.

In the "A Touch of Brimstone" episode of "The Avengers," Emma wore a bondage queen get-up with a spiky dog collar, leather boots and a live snake wrapped around her while uncovering a political coup by a resurrected Hellfire Club.

The episode was so cutting edge that it didn't air in the United States. Women cried sexism, but Rigg confessed she helped design the sexy costume.

When I wrote "Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt," I ventured undercover to a bondage club in rural Alabama. I didn't channel Emma very well. I wore a boring French maid costume and missed my opportunity to really be Emma. Of course, I don't think these folks were interested in bringing down the government. They just wanted to learn to brandish a riding crop.

When people started using their real names on email, I was pressed to use mine. I agonized over this. It seemed so, well, normal. Many journalism sources, especially political ones, knew me as Emma. They gave me scoops at times because I just didn't seem like a real person but a safe alter ego to which they could confess. Kill my alter ego? Emma had become very personal to me. I loved her. I had even adopted her flip hairstyle.

I'm still Emma, or Suzi depending on the assignment. Do I work in a leather catsuit? Sorry, that's classified.

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Mrs. Peel
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

who won't be like Emma Peel Very Happy
how did you discover this article?
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just came across it. Browsing the net at work bored pays off! Cool

I'm pleased Emma Peel inspires people in everyday life.
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Cariheart
Winged Avenger


Joined: 10 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a funny thing, remembering the proficient Emma Peel. I can recall watching her as a very young child in the late 60s early 70s (?) . Being so young and naive, I only praised her in my mind because of her karate moves. I thought they were neat! It wasn't until it replayed in the later part of the 80s that I found myself becoming empowered as a woman just by watching her. I would have felt the same about Cathy or Tara I suppose.
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Mrs. Peel
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cariheart wrote:
It's a funny thing, remembering the proficient Emma Peel. I can recall watching her as a very young child in the late 60s early 70s (?) . Being so young and naive, I only praised her in my mind because of her karate moves. I thought they were neat! It wasn't until it replayed in the later part of the 80s that I found myself becoming empowered as a woman just by watching her. I would have felt the same about Cathy or Tara I suppose.


I'm really relieved that others feel the same about Emma Peel Very Happy I start watching "The Avengers" just a year ago - I'm only 19... Wink
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine a lot of young people thinking "W.W.E.D.?" I know I do that with Gambit .... Wink
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Mrs. Peel
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I already start buying clothes which look like Emmas, and I always keep on thinking "Emma wouldn't be afraid...." etc
Perhaps I'm crazy Very Happy Very Happy
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crazy? Not at all. I grew up with an understanding that women could do things just as well as men, based on what I saw in The Avengers. Not just fighting, but make decisions and take an active role in situations.
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Mrs. Peel
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, I'm not very self-confident. I think watching the Avengers every night makes me feel better - perhaps more self-confident. I live in my own world Very Happy sometimes I believe that I'm born in the false age. the 60's would be much better for me.
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pleased The Avengers makes you feel more confident, but the show, as much as I love it, only shows a fairy tale (if sometimes a dark fairy tale) version of the 60's.

I've often thought I'd like to re-live the Edwardian era, but the reality was quite different to Upstairs Downstairs, Raffles etc.

Unless you were super-rich. Wink
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Timeless A-Peel
A Touch of Brimstone


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dandy Forsdyke wrote:
I imagine a lot of young people thinking "W.W.E.D.?" I know I do that with Gambit .... Wink


I was/am hugely influenced by Emma. I think as a girl it's hard not to be. I was fairly young when I started watching the show, and I don't think any woman can look at her and not want to be her--a polymath, elegant, graceful, supremely confident, well-spoken, a gorgeous wardrobe, drives a great car, knows how to defend herself. What was there not to love? I think it's hard not to want to emulate her a little--she's too fabulous. Wink

You're lucky if you can find some good sixties/Emmaish outfits. I have a few vintage pieces that have been given to me that look very Emma, and I adore them. Very Happy

(And I'll admit I wore an Emma flip for years. You're not alone Wink ).
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Mrs. Peel
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Very Happy I'm glad that there are so many people who feel like I do. At home they don't even know "The Avengers" and if I'm talking about Mrs. Peel or anything my friends start to look very strange at me...

Wink
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mrs. Peel wrote:
Very Happy Very Happy I'm glad that there are so many people who feel like I do. At home they don't even know "The Avengers" and if I'm talking about Mrs. Peel or anything my friends start to look very strange at me...

Wink


It's hard being a fan of things that you weren't born for the first time around. That's why forums are so nice. Smile
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Mrs. Peel
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes thats's true. It's also a problem that I'm living in Austria. Most of them know just the movie with ralph fiennes and some of the emma peel episodes but that's all. Confused
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mrs. Peel wrote:
yes thats's true. It's also a problem that I'm living in Austria. Most of them know just the movie with ralph fiennes and some of the emma peel episodes but that's all. Confused


That too. People here remember it, but they're always quite a bit older than I am. I don't mind, though--I've felt much older than my age for years now. Wink
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Mrs. Peel
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timeless A-Peel wrote:
Mrs. Peel wrote:
yes thats's true. It's also a problem that I'm living in Austria. Most of them know just the movie with ralph fiennes and some of the emma peel episodes but that's all. Confused


That too. People here remember it, but they're always quite a bit older than I am. I don't mind, though--I've felt much older than my age for years now. Wink


yes, that's true. Most of them have grown up with "The Avengers". I'm a new comer Very Happy
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mrs. Peel wrote:
I already start buying clothes which look like Emmas, and I always keep on thinking "Emma wouldn't be afraid...." etc
Perhaps I'm crazy Very Happy Very Happy


what exactly passes for crazy, these days ? (LOL)
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Mrs. Peel
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mousemeat wrote:
Mrs. Peel wrote:
I already start buying clothes which look like Emmas, and I always keep on thinking "Emma wouldn't be afraid...." etc
Perhaps I'm crazy Very Happy Very Happy


what exactly passes for crazy, these days ? (LOL)


Very Happy there are no specific limits Wink
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Halfhide
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mrs. Peel wrote:
yes, that's true. Most of them have grown up with "The Avengers". I'm a new comer Very Happy


Well I discovered The Avengers when I was 13. I'm 39 now and I'm still crazy for the series! Laughing
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Halfhide wrote:
Mrs. Peel wrote:
yes, that's true. Most of them have grown up with "The Avengers". I'm a new comer Very Happy


Well I discovered The Avengers when I was 13. I'm 39 now and I'm still crazy for the series! Laughing


my late sister.drove me crazy with her EMMA fixation...(but inna good way)
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