Queen Bee

queenbeeWe spent all of class on Thursday dissecting the Queen Bee. Kate, Katherine, Andrew, and Ben (Glen Coco) led us in a discussion about the Queen Bee character in film, literature, and pop culture. We began with this quiz, which I recommend you also take:


my result:

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Bring it on. Lucy got Regina, Star got Blair, Andrew got Rizzo, and Lisa got A Bee (“No one could exist with out you youre always the center of attention and you deserve it. You are a great leader and endlessly loyal to your followers, which makes you a true gem”).

How many Queen Bees can you name? Here are some common qualities:

  • Power and influence over other women and men (but especially women)
  • Cunning, manipulative
  • Attractive
  • Wealthy

A real Queen Bee creates most, if not all the bees in her hive. There can never be two Queens in a hive, and an “old” Queen will fight the up and coming “new” Queen to the death. The Queen Bee doesn’t have a barbed stinger – she can sting over and over again. The worker bees feed the Queen royal jelly.

“I want royal jelly so bad.” – Lisa

Joan Crawford’s character in Queen Bee (1955) fits the role perfectly. She is powerful, beautiful, manipulative, and wealthy. One of the most interesting aspects of her character is the power in her female sexuality. Not only can she manipulate and control men with it, but she can also bring down the women of the Phillip’s house with the same power. She controls the other women’s sexuality (arranging and dressing Jen for her date with Ty) and can ruin them completely by sexually overpowering them and their men (Carol’s suicide).

List the Queen Bees you know. Here is my list:

  • Regina George (Mean Girls)
  • Eva (Queen Bee)
  • Rizzo (Grease)
  • Alison (Pretty Little Liars)
  • Taylor Vaughan (She’s All That)
  • Bianca Stratford (10 things I hate about you)
  • Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada
  • Josie (Josie and the Pussycats)
  • Tom Tom (13 Going On 30)

And which one are you?


Published by Kendall Rock

My name is Kendall Rock, and I hail from Poulsbo/Seattle, Washington. I am a Film and New Media Studies major and English minor at Colorado College. I can't cook, but I love unicycling, knitting, and being outside. I will try my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

3 replies on “Queen Bee”

  1. I’m going to take Lisa up on her offer to jump in and offer a few thoughts as an alum. Seems from these posts like you’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of the archetypal Queen Bee. More recently, I’ve been noticing a related narrative trend that takes the QB character but turns her into a benevolent force — and often allows her to maintain power as a result.

    Take, for example, Cher in Clueless. Or Serena in Gossip Girl. Both have best friends who are at times key to either their dominance or destruction (Ty and Dionne; Blair). The main female friendship in The New Girl between nerd Jess and model Cece has a similar dynamic. And the episode Girl Fight (plus a few others from earlier seasons) offers a pretty funny take on the subtle and insidious ways these factions wage war: http://www.hulu.com/watch/720416). But at the end of the day, there’s real friendship there — and just as the bees show loyalty, so too are the Queens required to demonstrate it.

    So where do these ladies fit into the dynamic? Is killing people with kindness just the oldest Queen Bee trick in the book? Have these women diluted their power and therefore given up their Queen Bee mantle? Or do they represent Queen Bee 2.0 — one who’s figured out a way around getting taken down?

  2. When I took the quiz, I got “a bee,” but I’ve always identified with Rizzo. Continuing our brief discussion on this in class, I wonder where the line is drawn between a “Queen Bee” and a femme fatale. In the film, Eva confidently tells Carol, “Any man’s my man if I want it that way.” If a relationship with Eva is fatal to men, does this fall under the femme fatale role or the Queen Bee, who is fatal to women? Spoiler alert– Judd actually dies to take Eva down. It doesn’t get more fatal than that. I think the “truth” of Eva’s person lies somewhere in or between these two roles.

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