One of the most male-dominated, ultramachismo jobs in the world has been and is a gondolier. There have been gondoliers for thousand years in Venice, and from generation to generation they have all been men.
First woman gondolier in Venice is German-born Alexandra Hai rowing in picture above. We were lucky to meet her in Venice. She started to row the gondola in canals about five years ago.
Gondoliers' guild has nowadays 425 members and they are all men. The job goes usually from father to son. No outsiders, please.
Alexandra Hai has got many physical threats from gondoliers during a decade she has tried to fight for women’s rights. 425 versus one. Doesn’t seem very fair game. But what the hell. Let men row the boat and women weep with their handkerchiefs on the bank. Those weak bitches.
Male gondoliers have accused Hai not to succeed in rowing tests. On the other hand she has never been admitted to training course like 425 male gondoliers have been admitted before their own rowing tests. But what the hell. She couldn’t row the gondola anyway. Women have smaller brains than man, haven’t they? They can’t even tell directions in their own home.
Male gondoliers have repeatedly vandalized Alexandra Hai’s gondola. It’s very easy to bully when you belong to the chosen 425 and there’s just one against you. One who just tries to do her job. Hit hit, kick kick, spit spit, hey, this is funny, let’s see who draws the first blood! Now she cries, the coward. The cow.
Unnecessary to point out that Alexanda Hai is just as good a rower as any of male gondoliers in Venice.
Alexandra Hai has named her gondola Pegasus. The motto inscripted in her gondola is "E la luna nassara per sognar un altro di". And the moon will be born to dream of another day.
Alexandra didn’t fight in vain. In 2010 Venice got her second female gondolier, Giorgia Boscolo, mother of two children. 425 against her, too.
I hate machos. They are biggest cowards. Have you ever seen a macho fighting his fight alone? I haven’t. They don't know how much courage one needs to stand alone against bullying mob.
Hurrah to women gondoliers. They are my heroes. Courage is grace under pressure.