The Texas Women's Hall of Fame has a few new members, and of the nine selected by Gov. Rick Perry this week, we couldn't help but notice that one of them just so happens to be his wife. Yes, First Lady Anita Perry has been doing the whole First Lady thing for more than a decade, but that still seems like a dubious reason to tack her name on as one of nine inductees. That got us thinking about some other Texas women that we believe have no business in the Texas Women's Hall of Fame:
4. Ma Ferguson, the first female governor.
Because, while yes she was the first female governor of the state, she only became governor because her husband, Jim Ferguson, was so famously corrupt that the man was impeached and barred from holding office in the state of Texas. Miriam "Ma" Ferguson was just a workaround so her husband could continue to run the state through her. She even promised in her campaign speeches to always do what Pa told her, for crying out loud. While it was awesome that Texas went ahead and had its first female governor in 1924, it would have been nice if she had not been selling her candidacy as "two governor's for the price of one."
3. Katherine Anne Porter, writer.
Because she is too cool for that shit. Porter was born in Indian Creek, Texas and she went on to become an amazing writer (Ship of Fools is fantastic but her short story collections, particularly "Pale Horse, Pale Rider" changed how we think about pretty much everything.) Porter, in between all that brilliant writing, had a rough time of it. There was illness (both tuberculosis and the 1918 flu epidemic), there were tempestuous affairs and marriages (her first husband shoved her down a flight of stairs; another one dragged her to live in Connecticut), and all the while she was writing stories inspired by her Texas family and the hard truths she learned about the human condition. She's just too interesting and too damned good a writer to be in the Texas Women's Hall of Fame.
2. Bonnie Parker, bank robber.
For complicated reasons. First things first, Parker, the one who put the "Bonnie" in Bonnie and Clyde, started with Clyde Barrow in Dallas and robbed banks and generally outlawed their way through the Great Depression. The case for her not being in the Hall of Fame is double-sided. On one hand, Parker, along with Clyde Barrow, became a folk hero for robbing from the banks (banks, unsurprisingly, weren't so popular during the Great Depression.) On the other hand, even though she probably wasn't the machine gun-wielding terror depicted in the newspapers, she was a part of a gang that is believed to have killed at least nine police officers and some regular old wrong-place-wrong-time people.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
1. Molly Ivins, journalist.
Do we need to even explain this one? Okay, well here goes, just in case. Ivins was born into Houston money and she made her name as a journalist and columnist who took delight in making fun of Texas politicians and politics. She relished the chance to point out the many flaws and fallacies of the Great State of Texas.
Heck, she probably made fun of a lot of the hall of fame women already inducted. Ivins, by any yardstick or other method of measurement, is too funny and gutsy and interesting to have any place in the Texas Women's Hall of Fame. The Texas Women's Hall of Fame, particularly this year's selection of Anita Perry, is the sort of thing Ivins would have made mincemeat out of in print. There was never a thing in this world (including the New York Times from which she was fired for using the phrase "gang-pluck" to describe a "community chicken-killing festival") that she wouldn't take on. If posthumously inducted we're pretty sure she'd come back to life just to lampoon the move in a column. On second thought, go ahead and induct her. We'd like to read that column.