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Scandalous Women

With all the talk about identity recently, somehow I missed one of the very central categories for me, although plenty of the characters I discussed fall into it in some way or another.

Scandalous Women. Oh, hell yes.

This is my sense of familial history, why I don't feel like a black sheep.

Great-Grandma was the first woman in DC with a driver's license, and an active suffragist.
One of my great-great-whatever-aunts was one of the first botanists to collect wildflowers in Yellowstone, and her collection used to be in the Smithsonian, from what I understand. She was apparently known for riding (in pants and astride) up into the Park at first thaw, and not coming back 'til autumn (she had an assistant who brought her flower presses down and got supplies, from how the family stories tell it).
Grandma hung with Georgia O'Keefe, ran from the FBI, and taught me how to deal with tear gas.
Mom has been cheerfully scandalizing small-town america as a minister's wife for 40 years.

And since scandalous queers and scandalous women gotta stick together, I'm counting Uncle Walt, too. Walt Whitman is a great-great-something-uncle, and although I can't currently find the old post about how my middle name being "Whitman" changed my life, it most certainly did.

I definitely, and proudly, define myself as a scandalous woman. Not a "use my feminine wiles to get my way" sort of scandalous (not my thing), but in all the ways autonomous women who don't play by the rules still to the day get tagged with that label. I'll take it.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
i_amthecosmos
May. 19th, 2015 07:11 pm (UTC)
That's wonderful. I only had a few female relatives who could fit the scandalous woman archetype, but one was my Aunt Gussie, who took off with her female friends and traveled the US by car in the 20's. That counts.

Being a Southern Eccentric lady can be a lot of fun, even though to others the bar might be set low. I was brought up with that working-class Southern woman ideal that you had to spend all your time taking care of others, and nobody ever takes care of you. I don't like it, so I don't do it. And let me tell you, people notice.
moominmuppet
May. 21st, 2015 05:06 am (UTC)
Claiming eccentricity is another great one! That's exactly how I survived a decade in rural Ohio. "Local eccentric" can create a remarkable amount of space to be oneself in a small community, and I've always loved that role. It's how I survive my office, too.
jajy1979
May. 30th, 2015 03:08 am (UTC)
The women in our family are so much more interesting than the guys. Add in our great aunt who turned out to be a very good shot with a shotgun when it was needed and we've no shortage of tales to tell.
moominmuppet
Jun. 1st, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC)
Ah, very true... Forgot about her.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )