For some reason this little tidbit, circulating for a while, only just hit my desk. Biological chickens of the female variety have a private Instagram called, “Gals,” in which we exchange interesting fare we find searching about when we’re supposed to be working. Calm down bosses, it’s brain food.
Yesterday, Middle Chicken sends a photo with the following caption: “In 1921, early suffragettes often donned bathing suits and ate pizza in large groups to annoy men.” After I spit grey goose dirty martini all over my dress, the mind wondered to such a thing. Imagine.
“What would piss off those dastardly men denying us the vote, the right to not do dishes and to have babies when we choose?” says one.
“I know!” one crafty girl replies. “Let’s put on our smallest clothes and stuff ourselves with gobs of cheesy bliss destroying our figures whilst sitting at the beach. That’ll show ’em.” Don’t you just love her?
Is she really that far off? Given the time of suffragette influx, it would have steamed more than one chauvinist that women dare bare their legs. Not their breasts; those have always been okay to put on display for the pleasure of man, non?
Alas, none of it’s true. The girls are actually eating pie, which was evidently a thing. Pie eating contests at the beach. And in 1921, they weren’t early suffragettes since the girls had been fighting for generations to be deemed equal. It was in 1920 that the 19th Amendment joined the fray, giving all American women the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
According to Snopes, the bastion of truth, “No “custom” in the U.S. ever involved women (suffragettes or otherwise) “donning bathing suits” and “eating pizza” in “large groups” with the intent of “annoying men.” As the archived photo’s caption explains, the women are dressed the way they are and eating what they’re eating because the activity captured here was a common and innocuous “Pie eating contest at Tidal Basin bathing beach.”
The heart sinks does it not? Aside from bathing suits that hide all manner of flaws, there are some super cute shoes and headgear–check out the ballet flats with ribbon and the varied scarf accoutrements.
The story is much better with the pizza and annoyance factor. We all know there are times we annoy the hell out of the male species. They say we take too long to get ready, talk too much and bring up the past. You denied us the right to vote and expected us to cook your meals, iron your shirts, clean your house and raise your children. We won’t get over that.
As for this girl, I’m making the choice to think of the women frolicking on the beach eating pizza to annoy men. It’s a better story and it’s funny.
The real question is: Who’s in? I’ll be the one in pearls. And those adorable little ballet flats with ribbons.