I have a theory—that women have often stepped into new fields as they emerged and were not yet dominated by men. Mostly–but not always–for good. And usually men have come along to restore the hierarchical order and women have been pushed aside in any case.
In the early days of rodeo, women riding “rough stock” were often crowd favorites. Then, in 1929, Bonnie McCarroll, who had thrilled Pendleton Roundup audiences since 1915, was thrown from and rolled over by a bucking horse, and the Roundup decided bucking events were too dangerous for women. Other rodeos followed, and women were left to be rodeo queens and sometimes to do—what might be more dangerous than bucking—trick rides. No matter, the glamorous heart of the rodeo, bucking horses, were left to the men.
In the early days of flight, women jumped in as pilots, airport managers, and flight instructors. Bessie Coleman, the daughter of Texas African-American-Cherokee sharecroppers, worked, saved money, found sponsors, and Read The Article