Today’s modern woman enjoys a number of freedoms that were unheard of for females of the past. Women can vote, serve in the army, run businesses, own property, and in general, engage in all manner of activities once believed to be only proper for the owner of a penis.
But before they could do all these things, women had to fight for one inalienable right – the right to wear pants.
Joan of Arc wore pants. She wasn’t trying to make a political statement. They were metal pants, part of a suit of armor that protected her legs from being chopped off by the multitude of British knights who sought control over her homeland of France. The church didn’t recognize the practical nature of her metal pants and charged her with, among many alleged crimes, “dressing as a man” and burned her at the stake.
Alas, Joan’s mistreatment was a tremendous setback for all women who dared to dream of wearing pants. Centuries later, a Massachusetts colonist by the name of Deborah Sampson despised the British so greatly that she cast her dress aside, dawned a pair of pants and posed as a man just so she could gain the honor of shooting at all filthy limey scum who dared increase the price of her tea.
By the late 1700s, times had improved, relatively speaking, for female pants wearers. Deborah wasn’t burned at the stake but she did avoid punishment by the army by returning a bonus that had been paid to her. “We would surely not have paid her a bonus had we known that a vagina was lurking about in those pants,” one high ranking army officer was heard to have said. Her church shunned her until she offered a public apology for posing as a man and wearing those terrible off-limits pants.
As of 1876, Jane had taken up the cause of the female pants wearer. She didn’t even realize it. Her profession required her to ride horses, chase after criminals, and engage in all sorts of manual labor during which a free flowing dress would have gotten in the way. Pants just seemed like the practical choice and so she wore them.
While no one burned her at the stake or demanded a public apology from Jane for her pants, Deadwood was filled with all sorts of degenerates who were not shy whatsoever about sharing their opinions about her pants.
During the walk from the Utter Freight Depot to the Gem Theater, she heard it all.
“Put on a dress, bitch!”
Jane responded to each insult with a generous application of the f-word and other obscenities. Luckily for Jane, she wasn’t in France, or a British colony that had declared independence and was fighting for freedom, she was in Deadwood. There it was survival of the fittest and she was the fittest.
Nasty names were the worst the populace were willing to dish out. Attempts to actually remove her pants and replace them with a skirt would have been answered promptly with her six-shooter.
She strolled through the swinging double doors of the Gem and had a seat at the bar. Mitsy the chubby prostitute was once again tending bar.
“Whaddya know, whaddya say, Jane?” Mitsy asked.
“Nothing good,” Jane replied. “This whole Godforsaken town is teaming with psychotic killers, two-bit hoodlums, lowlife scoundrels and frauds, animals that will cut you open if they thought you swallowed a nickel, rapists, molesters, perverts, and narcotic addled reprobates but the one and only thing all these raging assholes agree on is that my fucking pants are bringing down the stability of the entire fucking operation.”
“I was just being friendly, Jane,” Mitsy said. “What will you have?”
“Whiskey,” Jane said as she plunked a coin down on the bar. “And keep ‘em coming!”
A voice shouted out from the back of the bar. “Put on a skirt or grow a dick!”
Jane hopped off her stool and looked around. “Who said that?! Who the fuck said that?!”
The joint grew quiet. “Yeah. That’s what I thought,” Jane said as she returned to her stool. “Bunch of damn imbeciles talking about their big dicks but they don’t want to prove it when someone calls them out on it.”
Mitsy pushed a shot glass full of whiskey across the bar. Jane picked it up and downed it.
“The fuck is Al at?” Jane asked. “He’d of cracked at least three jokes about my damn pants by now.”
At that precise moment, a bone chilling scream emanated from behind the closed door of Al’s back office.
“Aw shit,” Jane said. “Someone done him wrong again?”
“I try to stay out of it,” Mitsy said.