Thursday, April 14, 2011

..Women in the Circus..

..I was glancing through the Circus Hall of Fame's website this mornin. The time frame for nominations for 2010 are through and the Inductees will be announced this summer.Alot of people in our business scoff at these nominations as being silly with no meaning. I disagree. If you read the list you will see the names of women you can only dream about being able to see  perform. For me those names would be Lillian Lietzel, May Wirth, Mabel Stark, Dorothy Herbert, and Janet May. Others like Peggy McDonald, Catherine Hanneford, Lottie Brunn Micky King, Ernestine Clarke and Isla Miller I was fortunate enough to know. And one I'm proud to say I'm related to, Mayme Ward.
..As I read the list, I couldn't help noticing that their are a total of 148 Inductees, 4 are families or troupes, but there are 119 men, compared to only 25 women. What's up with that. Are you going to try and tell me that since 1958 and the very first and only inductee that year Lillian that's all the women our industry can come up with? Come on fellas, not that the men voted in were not worthy, but 25 women? What about Barbara Woodcock or Ava Williams, Gee Gee, or Ursula working 12 polar bears? Vicky Unus, The Luvis Sisters, Zoe Ann Henry. Wanda Ward orCarmen Hall with her baboons. Pat White and any one of the Wilson sisters. Mimi Zerbini or Jackie? Where are the names like La Norma and Betty Woods, Barbara Byrd or Dolly Jacobs?
..Women in the Circus have always pulled their weight, and more. From driving overnight to pounding stakes, rigging, shoveling shit, then having to look like a million dollars for three shows. And that doesn't count being a wife and mother and all that implies. So come on gentlemen at the Hall of Fame, give us the equal billing that we deserve.