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

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thea Rasche

As soon as the Wright Brothers proved that it was possible for humans to fly, women jumped into the cockpits of planes around the world. The difference between German citizen Thea Rasche and the rest of the women pilots, though, was that Rasche was into aerobatics. And she was good. In fact, she was so good that, at one point, she entered a competition with twenty-five of the best pilots in the United States (very likely all male) and beat the lot of them.

Internationally recognized throughout the late 1920's and early 1930's, Rasche got a reputation in the U.S. for flying unexpectedly under bridges, including the Brooklyn Bridge. This was not actually against the law yet, but it eventually became so -- quite probably because of the rash young in-your-face woman pilot.

"Fast Thea" (as she was known in Germany) was monitored closely and sanctioned by the Nazis more than once during World War II for demonstrating "Anglo-American sympathies." So she joined the Nazi party in an attempt to get a little breathing room, but her heart was never in it, at least partly because the Nazi's wouldn't let her fly. It's interesting, isn't it, how hard some men folks work to keep women (especially in-your-face women) where they're told they belong?

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