because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Patricia McCormick

Born in St Louis, Missouri in 1930, Patricia McCormick wanted to be a bullfighter from the first time she saw one in Mexico City when she was seven-years-old. Looking back, she later said, "To go into that kind of precarious work, there has to be an obsession."

So, despite the fact that she eventually became an art student at Texas Western in El Paso, she was drawn repeatedly to the bullfights just over the border in Ciudad Juarez. Everybody told her that she didn't have the money or the contacts or the Latin blood to get herself into the arena, let alone taken seriously. Nevertheless, McCormick took her shy self back to Ciudad Juarez again and again until she talked Alejandro del Hierro into accepting her as his student and, ultimately, his prodigy.

The tall, blonde Yanqui woman was soon the talk of Mexico. Allowed to join the Bullfighter's Union in 1951, McCormick killed 1000 bulls in the decade that followed and suffered six brutal gorings, one of which resulted in her receiving the last rites.

Today, McCormick lives quietly with her cat, but her website reminds us still that even a shy woman can be in-your-face when she wants to be.

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