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Is sexism gone-dola?
August 13, 2010 6:58 PM   Subscribe

After 900 years, Giorgia Boscolo has become the first female to pass Venice's rigorous gondolier examination, something she has been trying for years to accomplish.
posted by karminai (32 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pictures of Giorgia.
posted by lee at 7:05 PM on August 13, 2010


She looks pretty good for 900.
posted by briank at 7:12 PM on August 13, 2010 [24 favorites]


All that rowing kept her young.
posted by lee at 7:19 PM on August 13, 2010


Great for her! I was just there and was amazed at the skills of the gondoliers, especially in rainy and choppy weather.
posted by dealing away at 7:21 PM on August 13, 2010


She's become a paddler of cheap romances.
posted by benzenedream at 7:30 PM on August 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


When 900 years old you reack, look this good you will not.
posted by JMOZ at 7:31 PM on August 13, 2010


Boscolo Mio! When passengers get unruly, slide them into the drink.
posted by effluvia at 7:40 PM on August 13, 2010


Strangely, all the gondoliers at the Venetian in Las Vegas are attractive young women. Kind of amazed it's taken the Italians 900 years to catch on to this.
posted by Nelson at 7:48 PM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is excellent news.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:09 PM on August 13, 2010


Boscolo's breakthrough propelled her into the ranks of what can no longer be described with complete accuracy as an elite fraternity.

What? Of course it can. That's the whole point - she's good enough to be part of the "elite fraternity".
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:30 PM on August 13, 2010


You go(ndolier) girl!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:39 PM on August 13, 2010


What? Of course it can. That's the whole point - she's good enough to be part of the "elite fraternity".

I think they were referring to the fact that it's not exactly a "fraternity" by strict definition anymore if it now includes women, not that she had reduced its eliteness.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:41 PM on August 13, 2010


Strangely, all the gondoliers at the Venetian in Las Vegas are attractive young women. Kind of amazed it's taken the Italians 900 years to catch on to this.

Heaven forbid we apply something other than "does her arse look nice?" to a profession.

What next, watching beach volleyball and women's tennis with an eye to the competence of the players?
posted by rodgerd at 8:43 PM on August 13, 2010


She's going to be in great demand among the tourists. I wonder, do those gondoliers get tips?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:44 PM on August 13, 2010


Karminai, I salute you on the excellent post title. A lesser being would have settled for a simple "Gondola? I hardly know her!", but you truly went above and beyondola.
posted by No-sword at 8:54 PM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I couldn't come up with a decent gondolier joke. You'd think there were lots of possible gondolier jokes, but I couldn't think of one. So I looked on the web and indeed, if I'm reading this correctly, there was a gondolier joke in 1888.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:28 PM on August 13, 2010


Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
posted by ColdChef at 9:28 PM on August 13, 2010


Pictures of Giorgia.

A denim skirt? The first lady gondola driver in 900 years wears a denim skirt to work? She looks like a waitress at an Austin roadhouse.
posted by Camofrog at 9:30 PM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


New England has no navigable rivers, which is absolutely insane on the face of it... how did it manage to become the industrial powerhouse of the 18th and 19th century? Canals are the answer, artificial canals built to power the massive mills. In Lowell, they have Dragon Boat races on the canals. In Providence, they have gondolas go up and down them for Waterfire.

Being Rhode Island, this is a very well-funded political move, as it proves the Italians are in charge instead of those greenhorn portagees or the drunk-ass micks or dirty greeks or trash-picker arcadians. The great and bold irony is that most of the Italians here are from Sicily, which is like the West Virginia of the Mediterranean, and actual Sicilians wouldn't know a gondola from gorgonzola. The WASPs are all happy, as it's all authentically ethnic, from far-away foreignland right here in a half-hours drive from their split-level ranch.

What it all boils down to - she might be the first woman gondolier in Italy, but she sure as shit ain't the first female gondolier poling an authentic gondola along a canal, and she was probably Irish.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:52 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who thought to mention the Aria company? (I am such a geek)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:12 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nope.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:31 PM on August 13, 2010


Am I conjuring this 60s movie? Pixie actress in capri pants and gondolier striped shirt gets oar stuck in mud and holds on, ends up in water, dashing tourist in gondola rescues her, romance ensues. Or just a mish-mash?
posted by dhartung at 10:37 PM on August 13, 2010


Venice's rigorous gondolier examination

The eleven plus is a more rigorous exam than that. The eleven plus is a very rigorous exam. It's noted for its rigour. Children come staggering out saying, "Oh mummy, what a rigorous exam".
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:22 PM on August 13, 2010


Congrats to her. Just in time to watch Venice sink slowly beneath the rising waters.
posted by Justinian at 2:18 AM on August 14, 2010


Just in time to watch Venice sink slowly beneath the rising waters.

This reminds me: I wrote a song two years ago, about Venice, with, of course, a kind of "sinking" theme running through it. It's just a coupla doors down, at Metafilter Music, if anybody wants to hear it: Venezia.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:35 AM on August 14, 2010


she has been trying years to accomplish

Three attempts in around a two-year period, to be fair, isn't that incredible-sounding.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 4:03 AM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Justinian: Just in time to watch Venice sink slowly beneath the rising waters.

Personally, I think this might be all the more reason to have the skills of a gondolier.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:26 AM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


But does she have the vote? Can she actually defend herself in a court of law after being sexually assaulted? Can she walk down a street free of suggestion?

These are the three milestones that will really signify real change.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:13 AM on August 14, 2010


Can she walk down a street free of suggestion?

Or gondola down a canal?

(Women have had the vote in Italy since 1945, I believe.)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:38 AM on August 14, 2010


But does she have the vote? Can she actually defend herself in a court of law after being sexually assaulted? Can she walk down a street free of suggestion?

These are the three milestones that will really signify real change.


She's pushing forward feminism in her own way. One stroke of an oar at a time.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:34 AM on August 14, 2010


But does she have the vote? Can she actually defend herself in a court of law after being sexually assaulted? Can she walk down a street free of suggestion?

WTF?! The answers are Yes, Yes and "What freaking planet do you live on, because I have yet to find this mythical catcall-free utopia here on Earth."
posted by romakimmy at 10:00 AM on August 14, 2010


Hey ColdChef:

"The rhyme inspired japanese graphic artist Kozue Amano to draw ARIA, a 12-volume "new age healing" story arc about venetian gondolier girls, 300 years in the future."

Pretty cool I thought.
posted by Student of Man at 2:26 PM on August 14, 2010


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