Reblog(s) and more: women lib and smoking

That pic was posted in Facebook, with funny and cute and awesome text underneath: Rosa Luxemburg, Simone de Beauvoir, and Emma Goldman on the beach, smoking pipes (1930’s.)

I shared it on my FB wall and my dear friend Esther Schulz-Goldstein wrote as a comment: Ungefähr 30 Jahre später, habe ich als junge Frau im Museumsrestaurant in Tübingen Zigarre geraucht und da zischte ein für mich damals alter Herr am Nebentisch, “eine deutsche Frau raucht nicht”. Ich zischte zurück, “deutsche Männer hätten lieber nicht soviele Menschen umgebracht”.

I was so taken over by this beautiful foto, that I did not notice, it could be a fake and in fact it is, what my two Polish friends – Ula Ptak and Elżbieta Jagiełło – immediately noticed. Sure it is a fake. The authors do not even try to say you it is not. Just look at it:
Emma Goldman 1869-1940
Rosa Luxemburg 1871-1919
Simone de Beauvoir 1908-1986

But obviously I am not alone in my being mistaked. Somebody found out, that that foto with it’s purposely false caption was shared 13,268 times. Well, so… I was the 13,269th one…

But I found the true story about that pic, it was so called WOPS in Mexico:

The Womens’ Pipe Smoking Group affectionately known as the WOPS or Borkum Riffs because of the sweet smells that trail behind them. They meet every early morning of the week and stroll along Olas Altas smoking and discussing shag tobacco. This wonderfully relaxed group sometime mix a blend of prime Moroccan hashish with their fine Borkum Riff fine cut shag from the Netherlands.

There is a waiting list to join these women of the below the knee dress wearing persuasion who want to become involved in this sedate pursuit of strolling and chatting and puffing away on their smooth Calabash Meerschaum pipes like steam locomotives struggling up a hill. The youthful countenances of this group suggest tobacco smoke is good for the complexion and has general health benefits.

Searching for the text above I found another two interesting texts about women and smoking and pipes and now I am rebbloging them for you: 

Women and Pipes

By Beth Maxwell Boyle

‘The guitar player’ by David Rijckaert III

By 1615 in England, the first consignments of Virginia tobacco for pipe smoking had arrived and some 7,000 shops in London sold tobacco .

Women Pipe smokers are rare today but female smoking was very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. Respectable women were commonly seen smoking pipes in public. Many famous paintings exist of noble women of the period drinking in the smoke from a clay pipe. The middle classes were eager to enjoy this new pastime as well. In the Elizabethan times clays were quite delicate with graceful thin bowls and long stems. The Dutch redesigned these clays by enlarging the bowl and lengthened the stem.

Dutch, French and English women all enjoyed the “Indian Weed”. For centuries the favorite way of enjoying tobacco was to smoke it in clay pipes. As early as about 1575 pipes were being made in England, but by the 17th century Holland had become the dominant center for the manufacture of clay pipes. Clays were made in many other European countries at this time, as well. Such pipes were usually white, with small bowls and long stems. They were extremely fragile and did not last long. However, by the 1850s, when pipe smoking in general became associated with the working class, female smoking began to decline, at least in public. The acceptance of female smokers seemed to vary between regions at this time. It is believed that many women kept their old habits. It is more than likely it was done in secret while they outwardly treated the act as a disgrace.’
Marquise de Pompadour, the favorite mistress of Louis XV, was a passionate smoker and owned more than three hundred pipes!

In rural areas such as the Highlands of Scotland and in Ireland the women smoked without shame. Women in the Hebrides smoked well into the 1930s due to the cultural isolation just as Appalachian women in the US did. It was seen as a very crude and backwards habit by most of polite society but little changes in any society without contact with urban centers. Today a women smoking a pipe draws immediate notice and sometimes ridicule.

For more women pipes look HERE

And another text I just have to reblog:

I think I need to start smoking: or how to be an artist without a Gauloises hanging from your mouth.

Posted by Lisa Thatcher on January 19, 2012

Simone de Beauvoir – avec Gauloises.

I was rather disturbed to find out recently that some folk I admire are giving up smoking.

I was startled to say the least. No matter what anyone says, smoking remains the hallmark of cool. It’s as synonymous with art as booze, and as chic as any Euro fantasy.

Besides my obvious initial concerns (the loss of revenue for large faceless corporations and a drop in “cool” for those I admire) which are the same I think we all have when a dear one suggests they want to give up smoking, I had some broader concerns after giving the issue some thought.

Clarice Lispector. Smoking.

What about the health care professionals who are kept in a job because they have to care for the ill as a result of smoking all their life? (approx 48 billion a year is spent in smoking related health problems – approximately $11.00 of the cost of your cigarettes goes to health care professionals and their industries). The local tabac merchant, and all the other smaller stores that make the bulk of their revenue from cigarette sales. What of the poor governments loss of revenue (approximately $4 per pack) the drop of approximately 12.4 billion dollars from the advertising industry in the US alone (I think they’d notice this decrease, don’t you?) not to mention the drop in work for the legal industry. Tobacco is grown in 21 states of the United States, a leading producer of tobacco along with China and India. Think of all those farms and farmers, all those small communities kept alive – schools, libraries and hospitals because the local farmers grow tobacco.

Margurite Duras and Michelangelo Antonioni. Both Smoking.

And finally, the most poignant argument of all – almost everyone in Paris smokes.

Or is that all just bullshit?

If existence precedes essence, then I need to smoke in order to ‘be’ the writer I want to be. I know how the writer I want to be appears, because it has been determined (in essence preceding existence) by the writers I most want to emulate. Above you can see images of them smoking in the years before I took to the passion of writing. If I am determined by what surrounds me (according to Spinoza) the pressure to give up smoking is in direct confrontation with my experience of free will. It is in the world being a mirror of my free will that I am obliged to react. To overtake myself. The question here, is what self am I overtaking? Am I oppressed by my desire to give up cigarettes or my desire to smoke them in the first place?

Like Sartre’s waiter, I need to ‘play’ at being a writer until whatever (mysterious) criterion has been fulfilled that will have my inner self belive I am a writer. Scoff if you will, but this is a small charade that works for me. I had a blissful afternoon of writing today, in an atmosphere conducive to writing. Sometimes it is my desk and sometimes I will go mad if I have to look at my desk any longer and sometimes I need to play at being a writer just to feel its direction on my skin for the smallest while. Existence is defined by my concrete interactions with the world. Is it completely absurd that writers usually drink and smoke to excess? Of course it is – but again (if you adhere to the tenants of existentialism) that absurdism gives the action more meaning and puts us in touch with the basic humanity of existence.

Then, of course, we get into the nature of the cigarette itself. Should we roll our own? Can I still be an artist if the Gauloises are replaced by B & H extra mild?

And here comes the unpalatable truth. I have actually tried to smoke at several points in my life, and always given up in bitter disappointment, because I just can’t do it. I tend to be a very healthy person. The slightest upset in health regime sits poorly with me. I’ve never been able to smoke properly. I get too sick. For the most part, I’ve had to hang out with artists who do smoke, drinking in the second-hand, and wishing my little healthy body could tolerate it a little more hard-core.

And perhaps at the end of the day that is the source of my disappointment. Those around me giving up smoking results in me giving up the possibility of smoking. If I don’t see it, I wont remember it and horror of all horrors – I wont’ miss it. Perhaps my primal cry is more about the final shedding of the connection I have with the old artist image that fed me for so long. Just as I know the day of the depressed artist is over, perhaps the day of the drinking, smoking artist is over also.

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