Not Your Everyday News

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Real women

Yesterday I wrote about wannabe women, the lovely drag queens. (by the
way, need to extend a Happy New Year to the Queens from Queens!) But
today I need to discuss a momentous event in United States history, no
matter what your politics. Today, Nancy Pelosi became the first woman
Speak of the House of Representatives. Following symbolic tradition, the
gavel was passed to her by the minority leader of the House. Two major
issues immediately facing Pelosi and the Democrats are the proposed
raising of the minimum wage, and the debate over federal funding for
stem cell research. Let's hope that this is the start of a truly new era in
U.S. politics, that corruption and scandal will go by the wayside. My
wishful thinking is working overtime, I know, but you can always hope.
In a totally unrelated story, another milestone for women recently
occurred, this in Great Britain. For the 1st time in their 522 year history,
the renowned Beefeater guards will have a woman in their ranks.
Created as a bodyguard rank (not, as some might think, as spokesmen
for a certain kind of gin!) by King Henry VII in 1485, the Yeoman
Warders, the official name of the Beefeaters, became the guardians of
the Tower of London, home of the Crown Jewels. Today there are only
35 Beefeaters in service; 6 candidates applied for an opening, and
according to spokeswoman Natasha Woollard, the lone female applicant
was "the best candidate for the job." The identity of this woman has not
yet been revealed, only that she is a veteran of the British armed forces
and will join her new colleagues in the summer of 2007. Prerequisites
for applying to be a Beefeater include at least 22 years of service in the
military, with medals for good conduct and long service. The rather
distinctive Beefeaters, with their black hats and shoes, and red jackets
and stockings, primarily serve as tour guides to approximately 2
million yearly visitors to the Tower of London. Let's just hope that
the new Beefeatress will not be dogged by any bathroom controversies,
as a certain Italian parliamentarian has been!


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