Thursday, July 21, 2016

Female Trailblazers, Unbeaten Paths.

During Seth Myers' Late Late Show monologue recently he presented a video clip which reminded me of another old post of mine, about special or famous women. This is the clip Mr Myers played when commenting on gun control issues:

Gun control is a deadly serious issue these days, in Annie Oakley's day things were a tad different.

Anyway here's the content of that old post of which I was reminded:

Women trailblazers come in many guises, they are/were not necessarily in politics breaking glass ceilings, or doers of heroic deeds, some did what they did simply in order to provide for their families. Occasionally this came about in ways not "nice" for a female, ways considered scandalous. Women sometimes discovered they possessed skills normally reserved for males of their times, and put them to good use. Stepping out of the norm for one's era is, in my book, the basic factor in a trailblazer's blueprint. Here are two such women.

These two ladies didn't comply with the norm for women of their times, but each in their own way overcame male domination, without the backing of feminist groups or public opinion. Their determination arose from an inner driving force. One had a cluster of planets in Aquarius, the other a cluster in Leo. One had a clever mind, quick enough to out-think her male opponents, the other a steady hand, a good eye, and a talent for show-biz.

Annie Oakley (real name Phoebe Ann Mosey )

Annie possessed a talent unusual in women of her era - sharpshooting. Using a .22 caliber rifle at 90 feet (27 m), she was said to be able split a playing card edge-on and put five or six more holes in it before it touched the ground.

Her skill propelled her to super-stardom in the USA. She took part in touring Wild West shows, exhibitions and set many records, continuing into her 60s. She also engaged in extensive, albeit quiet, philanthropy for women's rights and other causes, including the support of specific young women that she knew. After her death, at age 66, it was discovered that her entire fortune had been spent on her family and her charities.

Born 13 August 1860 (time given by Astrotheme 12.01pm) in Willowdale, Ohio.
she had four personal planets in show-bizzy Leo, with Venus in Cancer opposing Mars in Capricorn. Venus opposing Mars symbolises feminine versus masculine - her femininity and diminutive size (just 5 ft tall) taking on what was then a very masculine occupation, via show business.

In a stage musical and movie based on Annie's story there's a song, directed at her male companion, appropriate for all superwomen, through the ages. The opening lines:

"Anything you can do, I can do better
I can do anything better than you.........."

Poker Alice, a female gambling legend of old frontier days in America.

There's confusion about Alice's year of birth (1851 or 1853) and place of birth -England or Virginia USA, to Irish parents. From whichever side of the Atlantic she originated, it appears that Alice Ivers accompanied her family at some point in early life to Colorado where she later married a mining engineer, Frank Duffield, from whom she learned to play poker. She was an intelligent lass and soon got the hang of things, probably good looking enough to turn the heads of male poker players too! Frank was killed in a mining accident, and Alice took up a career on the poker and faro tables of the west. In New Mexico, she broke the bank at one of the saloons, and the dealer was forced to close the game. She became a local legend. Alice's winnings at the table are fabled to have reached as much as $6,000 in one night. Alice once claimed that she had won more than $250,000 gambling over the years and that she never once cheated. Both of these claims are probably true. Poker Alice didn't have to cheat. She knew how to count cards.

Alice re-married, had 7 children but was left a widow again in 1910, and she marrried yet again. Her third husband died after just three years of marriage. She went on to open a brothel, and during a skirmish there accidentally killed a man with a stray rifle shot. She was arrested but later released. Many arrests for drunkenness and keeping a disorderly house followed in subsequent years. Her days of glamour and success waned in later life. She died following a gall bladder operation on 27 February 1930.
Story in more detail

For a brief look at Alice's natal chart, to acertain position of planets in signs, the year of birth is more important than the exact place of birth. 1851 or 1853? Whichever date is correct the constant factors are Sun, Mercury, Mars and possibly Venus, all in Aquarius. Quirky, independent Aquarius is the key. How different Alice was from most of her contemporaries, what a rebel from the norm! What a novel way she found to use her quick, incisive Aquarian mind! There's no doubt at all that Alice "followed a different drummer".

After looking at various aspects in the different charts (more detail in my earlier post about her here) I'd bet that Poker Alice was born in Virginia 17 February 1853, and that she decided to spread tales of her English origins in an attempt to intrigue others at the poker tables. A bit of early PR work!
Photograph courtesy of South Dakota State Historical Society.

Women everywhere, other than those of the super variety, have really only ever wanted the opportunity to compete on equal terms with their male counterparts. Some women might prove to be better in their chosen field, others might not - opportunity is all !


mike said...

So many famous women have broken that glass ceiling and so little time to discuss them...LOL. It usually isn't until a woman excels at something stereotyped as a male activity that recognition is bestowed upon her, like the two you've selected. Oakley had her rifle as a threatening ticket into the male arena, but I'm not sure how Poker Alice gained entry...women were sent to the scarlet-letter-pile-of-disgrace back then for similar, saloon activities, yet she gained fame. Similarly, someone like Mae West exuding sex appeal and great wit, normally would have been sent to the same trash heap, yet she became a sensation...she had Mars in Aquarius at the MC trining Neptune-Pluto first house. Difficult to know why some women reach fame, others infamy, or others that are sent to wash dirty laundry at remote Catholic shelters for the rest of their lives.

One of my grandmothers could shoot a rifle much better than her husband and she always had the far-larger string of squirrels. I have a photograph of one such hunt with her demurely holding her bounty. To be fair, I believe grandpa caught more fish.

I'm sure there were very talented women over the years that could out-perform men in a number of arenas, yet quietly acceded in polite refrain. I've read a number of biographical-historical documentations of women taking-over the ranch (or business) after their husband's death or imprisonment.

Interesting to note that men were typically criticized and ostracized for taking-on female-normative activities and are very unlikely to become famous for breaking that barrier.

Twilight said...

mike ~ It must be the prevalence of women on the political scene that's encouraging me to re-air old posts about females. In the news a lot these days: Hillary Clinton, Theresa May, Nicola Sturgeon, Angela Merkel... already on top of their "game" or about to be.

Guns, poker and politics - oh my!

Men doing female activities...hmmm. Cooking doesn't count, I guess, men always had the chef thing tied up until recent decades. Can't think of a purely female-normative activity other than hobby-type stuff, or motherhood, which biology precludes for men, other than by adoption. Nurses, hairdressers, beauticians, retail store assistants - always have embraced both male and female operatives far as I know.

Is there a particular female-normative activity you had in mind?

Twilight said...

mike ~ I'd been listening to my 2-disc Evita original concept album CD until a few minutes ago. It ended, so I switched on a jazz radio link I have bookmarked, and within 5 minutes they played an instrumental version of "Don't Cry for me Argentina".
synchronicity at work! :-)

mike (again) said...

Pink collar jobs! Here in the US, I didn't encounter a male nurse until sometime in the 1980s. Very few male grade school teachers, but after grade six, male teachers were more plentiful, probably due to athletics. Secretaries were always female in my younger days, though now both genders utilize the term personal assistant. It's still rare to find a male receptionist. Nannies were always female until recent times. Eye candy, such as center-folds, were always female until Burt Reynolds posed nude for Cosmo magazine in 1972, which led to Playgirl magazine. Airline stewardesses made way for men several decades ago, leading to the term flight attendant. Female telephone operators were the norm until several decades ago, but now the profession is heading into obsolescence.

Should Hillary dominate, the USA will have its first First Gentleman, though his title is complicated with his former presidency. Emily Post states that it's appropriate to call him Mr.Clinton or Former President Clinton...I doubt that he'll take to being First Gentleman...and it'll be fodder for late-night talk shows...LOL.

Nice quinkydink with "Don't Cry..."! There haven't been any quinkies in my life for a while. I always like them. No deja vu, either. I have been having some fun dreams, though I can't remember them beyond five minutes after waking.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Agreed on secretaries - yes that was once a typically female position - even now I think they are majority female; nannies - yes agreed. Eye-candy-wise - The Chippendales broke that glass ceiling (in the UK anyway). :-)

Title for Bill Clinton, should he re-enter the White House as consort.....First Zipper perhaps?