Whether they’re firing off six-pound canons or pulling thieves out of stolen cars, Texas women are tough and—just like their home state—should not be messed with. Maybe it’s some leftover spirit from the state’s more rugged days, but history, and a few recent headlines, offer plenty of evidence to support the theory that one should never undermine a female Texan’s ability to take matters into her own hands.
Texas is home to women like Angelina Eberly, who fired a canon to help preserve Austin as the capital city in 1842; Sheryl Swoopes, one of the first players signed to the WNBA in 1997; and former Governor Ann Richards, who was known for her feisty demeanor, frequent hunting trips, and of course, her famous “backwards in high heels” line she dropped at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. And that’s just to name a few; a more complete list of thirty legendary Texas women was published by this magazine back in 2003, if you’re in the mood for a quick history lesson.
Women around the state have been working hard in the first couple months of 2015 to remind us all that they really—really—are not to be messed with. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the most notable displays of strength and heroism from the state’s female population just this year.
Republican Senator Konni Burton wearing “Stand for Life” embellished boots on the Senate floor. In an attempt to throw some serious shade at Wendy Davis, who she replaced in office, Senator Burton took the Senate floor for the first time wearing politically charged cowgirl boots. Not only did this beef up the definition of “fashion statement,” but it introduced a new avenue by which one could make subtle snide remarks.
A mom in Katy helping police officers end a car chase by pinning down the fleeing driver. On a regular Wednesday morning in January, a mom driving her kids to school through Katy in a minivan chased down a woman who was fleeing from police and held her until officers were able to make an arrest. As Miranda, the heroic mother, explained to a reporter from Houston’s KPRC News, “I told my husband I don’t know where the strength came from, but I picked her up . . . she was probably twice my weight, and laid her down on the ground, then held her arm behind her, and sat on her until the cops got there.”
An altercation between a Jackson Hewitt employee and a customer turning into a head-butting brawl in a Walmart. What started as a verbal exchange, peppered with insults about the customer’s mother, ended in an assault charge for a Deer Park woman whose discount-store head butt was caught on tape and went viral in early February. The video shows the customer, Jessica Albitz, struggling to fire back with an insult of her own before she drops her keys on the ground and hits the Jackson Hewitt employee on the chin with her forehead.
A woman chasing and then bringing down an alleged carjacker after he hit her minivan with a stolen vehicle. After a man in Dallas allegedly stole a Dodge Caravan, he hit another minivan stopped at a red light while attempting to flee from the police. The suspect chose the wrong minivan to run into, which he probably realized shortly after Jessica Liesmann and her boyfriend, Charles Cook, got out of the van and chased after him. According to Dallas’s WFAA news, Liesmann was trying to protect her son, who when asked if he knew his mom could do something like that simply replied, “Yeah.”
(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, file)