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Posts Tagged ‘Women’s History Month’

*Recent ruminations from LUPEC, as originally published in the Weekly Dig.

March 3rd marks the birthday of blonde bombshell, Jean Harlow. Born Harlean Carpenter but affectionately known as “the Baby,” the actress would have turned 100 this week.

Harlow’s career started as a happy accident when she drove a friend to an audition at Fox shortly after she moved to California with her first husband. Though fascinated by the studio environment, 17-year-old Jean had no desire to become an actress—even after her friend returned to the car with three Fox executives in tow, who produced a letter of introduction to the head of casting after laying eyes on the beauty. Weeks later she took them up on the offer just to win a bet.

Known for her on-screen persona as a vampy sex object, off-screen Jean possessed a naiveté and complete lack of guile about her considerable physical attributes. “When we walked down the street, she would literally stop traffic,” a high school classmate of hers remembered. “Men would climb out of their cars and follow her.”

Frank Capra was the first director to take an interest in cultivating Harlow’s talents as an actress when they worked together on Platinum Blonde, and his efforts paid off. Her next film, Red-Headed Woman, elevated her from sex goddess to comedic actress and was, in Harlow’s words, “the first chance I ever had to do something in pictures other than swivel my hips.”

Baby Jean’s career came to an untimely end when she died from kidney failure in 1937 at just 26 years old. With over 40 films already under her belt, many believe she might have gone on to become one of the most accomplished actresses in American cinema. Here’s to Baby Jean.

PLATINUM BLONDE

1 1/2 oz light rum
1/2 oz cream
1/2 oz Cointreau

Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

CIN-CIN!
FOR MORE GREAT COCKTAIL RECIPES VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed ‘em in The Weekly Dig.

by Pinky Gonzales

Competent males have coached females throughout history in figure skating, ballet, softball, gymnastics and other sports often stereotyped as “ladies’ domain”, with scant resistance. Women coaches of “macho” sports have been virtually nonexistent, and last year among the 15,675 U.S. high school football coaches, not one had a set of ovaries. Enter three competent women who have broken the gridiron glass ceiling.

Randolph using brute force

29 year old science teacher, former track star, and IWFL wide receiver Natalie Randolph was just named the country’s first head varsity football coach, at Coolidge High in Washington, D.C.  This means she could not only explain how Belichik ran a slant against man-under coverage while the free safety was cheating, but could also divulge the molecular structure of your Coors-soaked Doritos. Awesome.

A mention of Randolph, however, is incomplete without that of Jennifer Oliveri and Wanda Oates.  In 1985, Oates was named head FB coach at Ballou High in D.C., only to be ousted the same dad-gum week by opposing coaches who didn’t want to compete with a woman. Then there’s our own hometown hero, Hull’s Pop Warner football coach Jennifer Oliveri. She was appointed last year to skipper the boys’ team and seems to love guiding her 7 to 10 year olds just as much as playing. As a kid she played on all-male teams, and like Randolph, Oliveri went on to play pro, for the Boston Militia (see them here on June 5th face Randolph’s old team the D.C. Divas!)

In their compelling 2007 book, Playing With the Boys: Why Separate is Not Equal in Sports, local scholars Eileen McDonagh and Laura Pappano convincingly argue that athletics are the last real frontier of gender inequality in America. Sports, especially pro, help define what we mean by “success.” Politics and higher education throughout history had once been boys-only (and whites-only, for that matter) clubs too, but when you see how that’s changing and how inspirational it can be for generations of young people, you can visualize how positive a thing a black female coach on a football field can be.

Here’s a toast to these courageous broads, with a simple libation that packs a punch.

Cheers!

LAST FRONTIER

2 1/2 oz Junipero gin

1/2 oz green Chartreuse

Lemon peel

Fill a shaker with ice and stir liquids for 20 sec. Twist and rub the oils of a lemon peel around the rim of a chilled cocktail glass, then strain in drink. Discard peel.

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*The latest ruminations from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed them in The Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Women’s History Month is upon us! As much as the ladies of LUPEC love our cocktails, we also love our history. We spend a great deal of time on the finer points of cocktail history in this here column, and for the month of March, we’ll also be celebrating the great and often unsung forebroads who paved the way for us. We hope you’ll join us in raising a glass with a hearty “cin-cin!”

Monday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day, a holiday we first learned about from an ex-pat friend living in Italy. We don’t really celebrate it here in the US, but Women’s Day has been observed in countries around the globe for nearly a century. In Italy, men give women yellow mimosas (not bad, right?) and girlfriends gather for women-only dinners and parties (anyone who’s seen an episode of Sex and the City probably finds this commonplace, but in Italy, our friend reports, it’s kind of a big deal). In some countries, like Poland, Women’s Day is similar to America’s greeting card-infested Mother’s Day; in others, such as Pakistan, it’s a day to commemorate the struggle for women’s rights.

Women’s Day was created during the rapid industrialization of the early 20th century, which caused the rise of the labor movement. On March 8th, 1908, 15,000 women protested in New York, marching for voting rights, shorter hours and better pay. The Socialist Party of America declared February 28th the following year National Women’s Day.

In 1910, Women’s Day went global. The delegates to the second annual International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen unanimously approved an International Women’s Day, an occasion to lobby worldwide for women’s rights. The following year, on March 19th, more than a million people attended rallies around the globe, campaigning for women’s rights to vote, work and hold public office. The holiday was moved back to March 8th two years later, in 1913, and has been celebrated then ever since.

International Women’s Day has been reinvented many times since its inception. On the eve of the Great War, it was a day for peace rallies. In the 1960s, second-wave feminists revived it. In 1975, the holiday received official sanction from the UN and has been an officially sponsored holiday ever since.

LUPEC suggests celebrating your favorite ladies this Monday with—what else?—a Ladies cocktail.

Ladies’ Cocktail
Adapted from The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock

1.75 oz bourbon
0.25 oz anisette
0.5 oz pastis
2 dashes angostura bitters
1 pineapple spear

Stir in a mixing glass with ice; strain into a chilled cocktail shaker.

CIN-CIN!

FOR MORE GREAT COCKTAILS AND WOMEN’S HISTORY, VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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