Annie Oakley made her name at a time when some women were chafing at societal restrictions, from social conventions limiting their dress to laws that did not allow them to vote. In the midst of this emerging feminist consciousness, Oakley made her mark in a male-dominated sport, insisting that women could shoot as well as men and repeatedly beating male opponents to prove her point.
Annie rejected the attitude that shooting was inappropriate for women -- when she overheard one woman say, "My, how I wish I were a man so that I could shoot," Oakley promptly took her to a nearby firing range and soon had the novice hitting a bull's eye.
On the other hand, Annie said that her "highest ambition" was "to be considered a lady." She was a social conservative who eschewed revealing costumes on stage and rejected the idea of women's suffrage. "I don't like bloomers or bloomer women," she declared.
Would you consider Annie Oakley a feminist?
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My American Experience
The legend of the Wild West has been played out in American Popular culture since the start of westward expansion. The real-life people who helped tame the west would shape the western heroes celebrated in film and television for decades.