This post is mostly meant for the people of tumblr who have no interest or knowledge in the pro wrestling world, as people within that community do not need any introduction to this post.
And this is Johnnie Mae Young. To every wrestling fan older than 16, she is recognized as one of the greatest wresters and wrestling personalities of all time. You talk about your feminists, women breaking down barriers, and people making a difference; Mae Young has done it all. She is the only individual to have wrestled in 9 different decades, while the average wrestling career may last for barely 20 years. This record is unlikely to be broken. She was the oldest living WWE Hall of Fame member at 90 years old; another record unlikely to be broken. But enough about her accomplishments, and more about her past.
At 15 she lobbied to become part of the all boys amateur wrestling team at her high school. She went on years later to pursue professional wrestling, a sport in which women had absolutely had no part of. She took advantage of men being overseas fighting in WWII to expand her and her fellow women’s position in the sport. Skip ahead 60-odd years or so, and she is representing the golden-age of wrestling with her long time friend, Mary Lillian ‘The Fabulous Moolah’ Ellison (1923-2007).
A true pioneer, she serves as a prime example to how aspects in life that seem to be set in stone can be changed in favour of gender equality and these changes can be long lasting.
She was taken off life-support today, so please keep her in your thoughts.