10 Unusual Females Including Nannie Doss
The Unusual Female
The female of the species has long since fascinated the male. To the man the opposite sex is both attractive and fatal, beautiful and dangerous, alluring and mysterious. In this hub I hope not to create friction or controversy by whipping up prejudices but to present some examples of unusual females that may give food for thought. And thought for something other than food!
'The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years research into the feminine soul, is 'What does a woman want?'
The women portrayed in this hub are unusual yes, but also exceptional.
Is there no end to the mysteries of the female?
1. Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir, philosopher, writer and teacher, is hailed as one of the founders of feminism. Throughout her adult life she published novels and philosophical works that reflected her passions - humanity, relationships and sexual politics. She thought that men tended to categorise women too easily, giving them a madonna/whore complex which, being created by the male undermined the essential humanity of the individual. Her statement that if women were seen as equal by men the element of mystery would no longer prevail caused many males to view her with great suspicion.
Her friendship/partnership with one of the major existential philosophers of the 20th century, Jean Paul Sartre, lasted almost fifty years. In this time, though never married, she vowed to be open and honest in all dealings with Sartre and to remain free to express herself with other people. In other words she demanded equality with her man which was not the done thing in the 1930s.
Atheist, anti colonialist, brilliant free thinker, she remains a role model for modern progressive feminists.
2. The Witches of Eastwick
Poor Jack. When the girls asked him to go fetch bagels and ice cream (for a post sex breakfast) they set about casting a spell that he wouldn't forget in a long while. Smiling from head to toe he happily went shopping in Eastwick unaware that the threesome were cooking up hell for him back at the mansion.
After making him spit feathers, vomit a truckload of cherries and get blown by demonic winds into a church service they made a wax effigy, stuck pins in the legs, arm and head and gleefully exercised their talents as white witches.
The horny little devil got his comeuppance alright. Nice work girls.
3. Coalminer's Wives
The recent rescue of 33 Chilean miners from deep underground captured the world's imagination. Above ground the wives and families were to me immensely dignified and always hopeful. Their prayers were answered.
Miner's wives no matter where they are have incredible stories to tell. These are English, supporting their menfolk in the great strike of 1984/85, a bitter battle between a right wing government led by Margaret Thatcher and the unions.
The early 1980s saw the end of detente, the introduction of new free market principles, growing belief in Reaganism and trickle down economics. At the same time many ordinary workers were suffering wage cuts and job losses.
In 2012 we're witnessing similar things happening in southern Europe. The boom and bust mindset seems here to stay unless there's a quantum shift in the way we do business. But whatever the economics there should always be a right to protest.
4. Pieta - Sketched by author
Pieta is Italian for dutifulness. This is a sketch I made of the Virgin Mary. She looks down on the body of her son but sees everyone's son or child. To me this expression should move the meanest, coldest human to commit some act of real compassion.
5. The Poet Who Worked As A Cleaner
Lorine Niedecker worked as a cleaning woman in a Wisconsin hospital for years 'covered with dust mops, pails, kitchen cleanser, cloths, brooms, etc. wondering where I am down those long halls past all those doors.'
Born in 1903 her first poems appeared in 1933. 'I never let a poem out without some trepidation..' she wrote. Her poetry is finely focused, intuitive and wittily observed. She ' chose to be rich by making her wants few.' (Louis Zukofsky)
You can read some of her poetry here:
6. Godmother of Cocaine
Griselda Blanco, the Columbian she-queen of cocaine, was gunned down recently in a motorcycle execution whilst shopping for meat. She had become too toxic for her drug lord competitors and her murder had long been on the cards.
Griselda lead a life of prostitution, drug dealing and racketeering which had taken her from small town Columbia to the tastiest parts of New York and Florida. En route she is said to have masterminded the deaths of over 200 men. women and children, even finding time to run her evil cartel whilst serving in US jails.
In a world dominated by macho men drug queen Griselda showed that the gentler sex can wield power with a ruthless disregard for life.
7. Alice in Wonderland
Masks that the female wears for disguise. A March hare, a Cheshire cat, a dormouse? On their way to the Mad Hatter's Tea Party no doubt. But where's Alice? She won't be going, she hasn't got time. No time for tea. She must be off her head.
Alice had an incredible adventure when she fell down that rabbit hole. Little did she know that a century and a half later people would still be reading about her, relieved to know that despite the best efforts of the Queen of Hearts, Alice retained her head and her dignity.
Louis Carroll's wonderful book creates a world that is timeless, fun, scary and full of silliness. Alice takes it all in and gives as good as she gets, dealing with nonsense, injustice and surreal antics with maturity and common sense. When she says what she means, she means what she says!
8. Nannie Doss
Nannie Doss, aka The Lonely Hearts Killer, The Giggling Nanny, The Giggling Granny, The Jolly Black Widow, Arsenic Annie, managed to murder 11 people between 1920 and 1954 across several southern states. Only when her 5th husband died suspiciously in an Oklahoma hospital in October of that year did she confess. An autopsy revealed arsenic poisoning.
Nannie had over three decades disposed of 4 husbands, her mother, a mother-in-law, 2 sisters, 2 children and a nephew. Her motives? She killed her men for the insurance, she killed her family out of sheer hatred and she blamed a bump on the head during a childhood train journey for causing her mental instability.
Nannie shocked police with her joyous confessions, giving pleasant little descriptions of events in her life.
'He sure did love those stewed prunes.' She remarked about one of her murdered husbands. Eventually she told police about the other victims, saying coldly she only killed people 'who deserved it.'
Luckily for a male correspondent from Goldsboro, North Carolina, Nannie Doss was apprehended before she could consummate her lonely hearts relationship with what would have been husband number 6. John H. Keel vowed never to write to lonely women again!
The Grinning Granny survived in prison until 1965 when she died of leukemia.
9. Quartet Of Austrian Angels
The Angels of Death are said to have injected, infused and drowned over 200 elderly victims at the General Hospital in Vienna, Austria. They were arrested in April 1989 when they were overheard bragging about their latest exploit over drinks in a local tavern.
Waltraud Wagner, the ringleader, had somehow persuaded Irene Leidoff, Maria Gruber and Stephanija Meyer that murder was cool and gave you a buzz. They began with simple overdoses of morphine for old sick patients but soon upped their game. To thwart the authorities the foursome carried out 'drowning in bed', holding the noses and heads of their victims whilst water was poured into the mouth. Elderly patients often succumbed to water on the lungs so no-one would be any the wiser.
The four confessed to dozens of murders and were given life sentences. Two of them have since been released under different identities, so better not to visit Austria if you're old and feeling frail.
10. Delfina and Maria de Jesus Gonzalez
When police in the Mexican state of Guanajuato picked up a pimp for questioning in 1964 little did they know the answers would lead them to the sisters Delfina and Maria. They ran a bordello in San Francisco del Rincon, 200 miles north of Mexico City, 'Ranch del Angel'. When police raided the whorehouse they discovered the grisly remains of 11 men and 80 women, plus numerous foetuses. The game was up for the sisters from hell.
Police were told the whole sorry story. Young stray girls would be attracted by ads in local papers for homehelps and what have you, but would end up drug addicts and prostitutes at the mercy of a rough clientele. If they refused to work, became ill or lost their looks Delfina and Maria would kill them, dismember their bodies and bury them in a primitive grave.
The foetuses we can only imagine were got rid of as an after effect of prostitution.
As for the men, these were wealthier victims who just happened to have extra cash on them on the night. They were lured in and murdered.
© 2012 Andrew Spacey