- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 29, 2005

Country singer Gretchen Wilson chews tobacco (Bandits, not straight snuff — but still) and, as she tells it on her new CD “All Jacked Up,” can down beer drink for drink with any man. We wouldn’t mess with her, just as we wouldn’t mess with these gals:

Mae West — The star of stage and screen was the original “tough broad.” She chomped on cigars and liked her men to know their way around a boxing ring. “When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad I’m better,” the sexually provocative actress once quipped. As if there were any doubt.

Bessie Smith — The “empress of the blues” was what Bob Dylan would call a “tough mama.” Her voice, big and brawny, was even tougher.

Linda Hamilton — Is there any wonder Sarah Connor survived Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hunter-killer machine from the future not once but twice? The sight of her in a tank-top in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” would be enough to intimidate any man, robotic or human.

Joan Crawford — Twenty bucks says she could’ve taken Bette Davis in a catfight.

Queen Latifah — The New Jersey-born rapper-actress was an inspired choice as prison matron Mama Morton in Rob Marshall’s “Chicago” movie of 2002: She played power forward for the Irvington high school girls’ basketball team, snagging two state championships.

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