Paper Title

[1.2] She Haw!: She Haw!: How Rodeo Queens and Cowgirls Reflected Gender Ideologies in the Twentieth Century

Location

IB 1007

Start Date

January 2020

End Date

January 2020

Disciplines

History | Philosophy | Political Science

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Though the American frontier was deemed closed in the 1890s, cowboys and cowgirls did not disappear into history. Rather, rodeos emerged as a means of entertainment that allowed audiences to watch the wild west, they so admired. Though rodeos quickly became a hyper-masculinized event, cowgirls carved out a place for themselves, consequently becoming some of the earliest female athletes. Additionally, rodeo queens also emerged as a feminine component to the festivities. As Canada and the United States entered the Second World War, however, both cowgirls and rodeo queens saw a dramatic shift in their roles in rodeos across the continent due to changing gender ideologies. This paper will argue that, though cowgirls were early participants in rodeos, the years following the Second World War pushed women back into the private sphere thus restricting female participation in rodeos. Conversely, though rodeo queens had been reduced to beauty pageant participants, the role eventually opened opportunities for women to enter the rodeo once again. To support my argument, I use a mixture of primary and secondary sources such as newspaper articles.

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Jan 17th, 1:00 PM Jan 17th, 2:15 PM

[1.2] She Haw!: She Haw!: How Rodeo Queens and Cowgirls Reflected Gender Ideologies in the Twentieth Century

IB 1007

Though the American frontier was deemed closed in the 1890s, cowboys and cowgirls did not disappear into history. Rather, rodeos emerged as a means of entertainment that allowed audiences to watch the wild west, they so admired. Though rodeos quickly became a hyper-masculinized event, cowgirls carved out a place for themselves, consequently becoming some of the earliest female athletes. Additionally, rodeo queens also emerged as a feminine component to the festivities. As Canada and the United States entered the Second World War, however, both cowgirls and rodeo queens saw a dramatic shift in their roles in rodeos across the continent due to changing gender ideologies. This paper will argue that, though cowgirls were early participants in rodeos, the years following the Second World War pushed women back into the private sphere thus restricting female participation in rodeos. Conversely, though rodeo queens had been reduced to beauty pageant participants, the role eventually opened opportunities for women to enter the rodeo once again. To support my argument, I use a mixture of primary and secondary sources such as newspaper articles.