WE CAME FOR THE SEANCE BUT WE STAYED FOR THE GUN SHOW
September 14, 2019 9:15 PM   Subscribe

YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED TO SEE PIX OF FLEXING VICTORIAN BABES BUT YOU DID (Twitter | Threadreader). See also: Charmion's Trapeze Striptease (SFW)

Minerva and Charmion, along with Sandwina, Woman of Steel are but a few of the stories on The Human Marvels (previously).
posted by Johnny Wallflower (31 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
Seriously, do not miss Sandwina's story.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:16 PM on September 14, 2019 [9 favorites]


I love Charmion fairly pelting her audience with her underthings. (So many layers.)
posted by amanda at 9:53 PM on September 14, 2019 [5 favorites]


Yep. I needed that...
posted by Windopaene at 10:22 PM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


I think I saw a whole book on nineteenth-Century muscular women a few years ago. Why didn’t I buy it? Ofui.
posted by clew at 10:43 PM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Heymann thought tussling with a woman would be a rather delightful way to earn 100 marks. But by his own account he recalled only entering the ring, a blue sky and being carried away from the ring by Kate like a prize. The couple remained married for 52 years.

Some guys have all the luck.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:13 PM on September 14, 2019 [43 favorites]


Linked from the Twitter thread: The first female bodybuilders and strongwomen showing off their gains, 1900s
posted by flabdablet at 2:07 AM on September 15, 2019 [7 favorites]


She's wearing two pairs of black stockings how is that even possible?
posted by glasseyes at 3:32 AM on September 15, 2019


This is cool, but I read it as "flexing Victorian babies" and I do really want to see that as well.
posted by lollusc at 7:05 AM on September 15, 2019 [9 favorites]


Sandwina made a name for herself LIFTING HORSES. Who does that? I do know that if there’s a fight, and your opponent picks up a horse, it’s time to leave.
posted by hilberseimer at 7:28 AM on September 15, 2019 [22 favorites]


Is there a source for these images? I can't get to Twitter. Not loving the "yum, hawt" framing but I'm realizing I need more femme and strong women images in my life!
posted by travertina at 8:23 AM on September 15, 2019


I do know that if there’s a fight, and your opponent picks up a horse, it’s time to leave.

Never bring a knife to a horse fight.
posted by hippybear at 8:35 AM on September 15, 2019 [22 favorites]


As one of the twitter commenters put it: "Thicctorians"
posted by chavenet at 8:46 AM on September 15, 2019 [10 favorites]


Never bring a knife to a horse fight.

Or indeed a horse to a bullfight.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:52 AM on September 15, 2019


Or indeed a horse to a bullfight.

Um...
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:14 AM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Or a bull to a china shop.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:31 AM on September 15, 2019


Harrumph
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:16 AM on September 15, 2019


Extremely inspirational and motivating.

(with the caveat that many of the feats of ye olde female strongwomen, like their male counterparts, were exaggerated)
posted by schroedinger at 11:15 AM on September 15, 2019


I don't think any of these women would mind that folks are still admiring their strength and physique 100+ years on.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:44 PM on September 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


Or indeed a horse to a bullfight.

Um...


Yeah, like, I've actually been to a bullfight (in Juarez, Mexico in what was basically another lifetime), and yeah, the horses and men with sharp things there to antagonize them before the fighter enters the ring... that's a real thing.

(So exciting, so brutal, never again)
posted by hippybear at 1:01 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Not loving the "yum, hawt" framing

There's certainly a fine line between appreciation and objectification, but societal definitions of how a woman can be considered sexually attractive are pretty narrowly defined at times. Saying that these women are not just impressive, but also attractive because of their prowess and not despite it? There's some value if done right and respectably.
posted by explosion at 1:22 PM on September 15, 2019 [5 favorites]


Rural societies have always valued and celebrated physically strong women and still do. Being strong and capable to do what the men can is a huge point of pride for most farm women and girls and their families. All those articles that say women were supposed to be weak and frail to be attractive are talking about the middle and upper classes, which was like 5% of the population at that point in time.
posted by fshgrl at 1:55 PM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


I don’t even think frailty as a goal was as universal among the upper classes as we think. I read old novels on Project Gutenberg all the time for fun, and strong active women turn up pretty often. Even fashionable upper class women often hunt (exhausting, dangerous), and more than once there’s reference to sisters learning fencing. I’ve seen 19th c patterns for knitted or crocheted corsets to fence in.

And the dances! Listen to a Strauss galop or polka - try whirling about to tempo - and see how long some of them are. And you need to have breath in reserve to be witty.
posted by clew at 2:52 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


I think a lot of our impression of frail Victorian ladies comes from Dickens and his sodding ethereal consumptive child brides. If you read the Brontes, Gaskell, Trollope, Thackeray etc their female characters are off hiking over fields for miles every day to visit their friends, staying up all night dancing, going hunting and getting thrown from their horses, or in Becky Sharp’s case living it up in German spa towns and hiding your empty gin bottles when you meet people who know you from back home. Nothing frail about them.
posted by tinkletown at 3:30 PM on September 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


(with the caveat that many of the feats of ye olde female strongwomen, like their male counterparts, were exaggerated)

Becca Swanson might be a little bigger than Sandwina was, but Swanson benched like...600 lbs. literally 600 lbs. and the current women’s world record in the clean and jerk (where you lift weight to your chest-ish and then above your head) is more than 300 lbs. so those claims aren’t insane.

I mean they are insane. Just not impossible insane. Plus there’s a pic with her holding her husband over her head (though he does look tiny, so maybe it’s staged).
posted by schadenfrau at 3:39 PM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


Rural societies have always valued and celebrated physically strong women and still do.

I think actually saw this somewhere recently online. Someone lifted her heavy suitcase out of a cab without waiting for help and the guy just pointed at her, delighted, and was like “FARM?”
posted by schadenfrau at 3:41 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


@schadenfrau: it was trinandtonic on Twitter:
As I hoisted my own luggage into the trunk, my very Polish cab driver, impressed, shouted, “STRONG GIRL!! FARM??” And this is the only way I wish strange men to speak with me, moving forward
posted by michaelhoney at 4:33 PM on September 15, 2019 [15 favorites]


Sandwina made a name for herself LIFTING HORSES. Who does that?

Nobody. Horses weigh around half a ton.

Resisting being pulled by horses is quite another thing. A big thing, for sure, because horses pull pretty bloody hard. But it's not a half-ton lift.
posted by flabdablet at 1:22 AM on September 16, 2019


There ARE dudes who deadlift a thousand pounds. Not many, but it happens. They have to use special bars. (Also I think one of them lifted a comparable giant tree on his shoulders? Or something?) So I like to imagine, like, a very dainty horse. The daintiest horse. Also I think the record for a women's squat is something like 850? So maybe she squatted a tiny horse, and also somehow the horse was fine with it. LET ME HAVE THIS.

Also this thread made me remember that German baby with the double myostatin mutation that made him into a little hercules who could DEFINITELY fuck up any babysitter who ever tried to get him to nap.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:02 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


Clayton Cubitt directed one of the greatest videos of all time btw
posted by fungible at 12:49 PM on September 17, 2019


There are some very dainty horses! even if they aren't bred to be show miniatures. In Travels with Myself and Another, for instance, I believe Another picks one up. ("Don't embarass our hosts.")
posted by clew at 10:32 PM on September 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


There are some very dainty horses!

Yes there are.
posted by flabdablet at 8:22 AM on September 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


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