What to do with 1,200 pounds of bull and other handy lessons from Women�s History
By Laura Flanders
Journal Guest Writer
Mar 6, 2009, 00:12
You can learn a lot from obituaries -- and recently there
have been some great ones.
In February, it was Conchita
Cintr�n, a celebrated female bullfighter.
Cintr�n, who retired from bullfighting after having killed
as many as 750 bulls in the ring, died in Lisbon last month at the age of 86.
At 18, according to the obituaries, she was known as la
Diosa Rubia, the Blond Goddess.
A headline about her in the New York Sun in 1940 read,
�She�s a Timid Blue Eyed Girl But � She Kills Bulls Without Qualms.�
�I have never had any qualms about it,� she said. �A qualm
or a cringe before 1,200 pounds of enraged bull would be sure death.�
Lesson One in these political days: Don�t cringe when there
are 1,200 pounds of bull coming towards you.
My favorite obituary from this month so far is of Molly
Kool, sea captain.
Kool qualified as a captain at age 23, the first woman in
North America to be a licensed ship�s captain. She died last week at her home
in Bangor, Maine, two days after her 93rd birthday.
One contemporary news account described Kool this way: �Her
eyebrows are shaped and arched, her lips lightly rouged, her blonde hair up in
feminine curls. That�s Miss Molly Kool ashore . . . but in her barge . . . she
knows no fear . . .�
She was nothing if not pragmatic.
The New York Times notes one widely reported occasion when
Kool�s ship, the Jean K collided with another in a dense fog and sent her
hurtling overboard, where she risked being sucked under by the ship�s
propeller. A piece of timber floated by and she grabbed it as the ship�s
passengers hurled life preservers down at her.
�I�m already floating,� Ms. Kool hollered up at her
shipmates from the brink. �Stop throwing useless stuff at me and send a boat!�
Ahem! Anyone else hear an absolutely perfect message for
these economic hard times?
When you�re already floating you don�t need more help to
float. �Stop throwing useless stuff -- and send a boat!�
Exactly. And to think, some say that feminist history�s
over-rated. Happy Women�s History Month
�F� Word is a daily commentary from Laura Flanders on GRITtv,
seen daily on satellite, cable and public TV and online at GRITtv.org.
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