Saturday, December 13, 2008

relaxing her rule

Larry McMurtry says Buffalo Bill Cody “was all for suffrage” for women “and argued with” Annie Oakley “about it. … Annie … thought she might be for suffrage if only the good women would vote. But she was never particularly indulgent about her sex and worried about what might happen if too many bad women voted.”

Never particularly indulgent about her sex? But she was about the other? If women don’t vote, only men vote. How many bad men voting is too many? How many good women voting is too few?

“Part of [Annie Oakley’s] objection to feminism seemed to be an aesthetic objection to bloomers. She hated them and, so far as is known, never wore them. In her day all real ladies wore skirts, and that was that.”

“On the other hand she was adamant in her belief that women deserved to be, and should be, armed. … She thought that every school ought to have a rifle range and that both boys and girls should receive adequate instruction about how to use a firearm. When World War I broke out Annie even toyed with the idea of organizing and leading a women’s regiment, even though it might mean relaxing her rule on pants for women.”

What an odd mix of ideas we are.

source: The Colonel and Little Missie: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the Beginnings of Superstardom in America by Larry McMurtry

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