WRESTLING SUPER STAR VIVIAN VACHON WAS WRESTLING ROYALTY.
When you are of French descent and spend the majority of your life living in Quebec, Canada there are certain inevitable pathways your steps will take you. For Vivian Vachon, bored stiff with office life, she followed her ordained calling as part of wrestling royalty, left the nest and like most female wrestlers of any time period, traveled the world.
When you watch Vivian Vachon at twenty one, during the peak of her wrestling career, you will absolutely want to know more about this beautiful feminine and physically strong young French Canadian blonde.
You can understand where she received her assertiveness. This will come as little surprise to most parents: Children who have older brothers tend to become more aggressive than those with older sisters, according to a new study. The study generated a host of nuanced findings. Having a brother or a highly aggressive sibling of either gender can lead to greater increases in aggression over time. The study, led by Tierney Williams of the University of California, Davis, is published in the September/October 2007 issue of the journal Child Development.
A member of the Vachon family of wrestlers, Vivian was the sister of Maurice and Paul Vachon, and the aunt of Luna Vachon, a wrestler who would later love to play the villain, relentless in her attacks on sweet opponents. Vivian is considered one of the best female wrestlers of the 1970s.
According to Wikipedia, at the suggestion of her brother Maurice, she began to train as a professional wrestler and went to South Carolina to train under The Fabulous Moolah. It was also Maurice who suggested she adopt the ring name Vivian Vachon (sometimes spelled Viviane Vachon).
In February 1971, she became the California Women’s Champion. She became the American Wrestling Association’s (AWA) Women’s Champion for a time, defeating Kay Noble on November 4, 1971. In the early 1970s she starred in the movie Wrestling Queen, which also included her brothers and other wrestlers. She wrestled in the early 1980s on a tour of Japan, and wrestled again in 1986 for Maurice’s retirement tour.
As fans of Vivian, what struck us most was how down to earth she was. It was as though you knew her personally. This feeling becomes more prominent if you watch the 1970’s film Wrestling Queen. She’s candid and expressive with a sense of humor.
In the work, The life and loves of Vivian Vachon, Wrestling Queen by Greg Oliver, there is more insight into the mind of the French Canadian beauty. “She was baby in my family,” said Paul “The Butcher” Vachon. “She was also my godchild. In French-Canadian families, they had such big families that the older kids became godparents also of the younger kids. She’s one of thirteen. I’m the seventh in my family, and I was 13 when she was born. I was just old enough to become her godfather, and she never let me forget it.”
Two of her brothers, Maurice and Paul, were accomplished amateur wrestlers before turning professional. Of course, the wrestling world knows them better as Mad Dog Vachon and Butcher Vachon. “She wanted to wrestle so she could travel. She had been raised on a farm, the same farm I was raised on, and she wanted to get away from home, travel and see the world,” said Butcher. “I remember telling her this. I said, ‘People love to see women wrestling, but there’s some of the wrestlers now, they look like men. So it defeats the purpose. Always be feminine.’ So she reminded me, year after year, ‘You always told me that and I always dressed nice and smiled.'”
“Vivian had super strength, for any individual her size. She used to be able to pick up Paul and slam him. He was about 300 pounds then,” he said. “She was nobody to mess with. She was a good one to have on your side when you were out. If somebody smarted off, she had a short fuse, and it happened more than once. A guy would make a comment about wrestling. I take a little time to boil, but she’d just ‘BOOM!’ and the guy hits the concrete. She didn’t think twice about it.”
Pomerleau.info/genealogy/v/vachon_family sheds some light into the origin of the Vachon name. In North-America, the greatest concentration of Vachon surnames appears to be in the province of Québec where the name first originated and more specifically in the geographical proximity of Beauport, Charlesbourg and Québec City. Elsewhere in Québec, important concentrations can be also found in several locations; for example in Beauce county and the eastern townships, in Montréal and its urban satellites, as well as Abilibi county. Outside Québec, Ottawa and the surrounding counties to the south in eastern Ontario also have sizable concentrations.
Vivian’s independence is consistent with her Quebec regional upbringing.
According to the Montrealgazatte.com just over 69 years ago, on Aug. 8, 1944, Quebec women voted in a provincial general election for the first time. They could do so thanks to a resolute, decades-long campaign by suffragists, not just female but also male, and none among them more resolute than Thérèse Casgrain.
The case against Canadian women voting, which was felt most strongly in Quebec, sounds absurd today. The thinking then was votes for women would undermine men’s rightful place as the head of a household. A woman’s proper place was in the home, tending to her husband and children, and not near a polling booth where she could be exposed to strong emotions, even violence. Nor did women have the needed mental equipment to understand politics.
Fortunately times changed in time for Vivian.
According to Wikipedia, Feminism in Quebec has evolved differently than in the rest of Canada, and its history does not necessarily match the idea of the three “waves” conventionally used to describe Canadian feminist history. After Confederation, the provincial government of Quebec continued to be closely associated with the Catholic Church, resulting in the preservation of traditional gender roles. The conservatism of the then-provincial government and the privileging of Catholic values contributed to Quebec being the last province in which women received the provincial franchise.
By the 1960s, during the Quiet Revolution, many women in Quebec linked the patriarchy that shaped their lives with the colonial domination of English Canada over Quebec’s affairs. Equality between the sexes would amount to little if both men and women were subordinated and misrepresented through English values, culture and institutions. The Fédération des femmes du Québec was founded in 1966 to advance the rights of women in Quebec, and the organization worked closely with the National Action Committee on the Status of Women in the 1970s and 1980s.
Today, even before Pauline Marois was elected Premier of her province, she and Quebec Solidaire’s Francoise David made history earlier this year as the first two female candidates facing each other in a Quebec election leadership debate. Afterwards, pundits expressed surprise at how effective David was, considering her relative inexperience.
It is also law in Quebec that a woman keeps her maiden name even after marriage.
Section 393 of the Civil Code of Quebec states that women and men in Quebec must exercise their civil rights under their maiden name.
Unlike most of the countries in the world and unlike the federal government of Canada, the laws of the Province of Quebec, based on the name stability principle, say that marriage is not a reason for changing your name and no matter how many times a person gets married, there is only one name that should be used, the one you are born with.
It’s even more surprising to find out where this comes from. Decades ago men had way more rights than women did, higher salaries, higher positions. The women emancipation led to the equality of rights, which meant a lot for women.
This law that came in force in 1981 had only one goal: to release the woman, to set her free and never oblige her to change her name, to give her one more right.
Let’s look at one final aspect of Vivian’s upbringing that helped shape her dynamic persona. Research suggests that children with siblings tend to have better social skills and are a little better at interacting with others.”
Between the swapping of stories, jokes and pictures, there is always time for a family member in need of support. Bottom line, they are there for one another — to depend upon for comfort, to count on for fun. No doubt, bigger does not necessarily mean better, but large families can teach us important lessons. There are the compromises, the necessary patience, and a constant sense that life has to be divvied up. The available resources — not only financial, but parental affection and attention — have to be shared.
Royalty is defined as a person of royal rank or lineage. They are people of royal blood or status. Ms. Vachon a member of the great Vachon brother’s wrestling family was wrestling royalty.
Though the engaging and entertaining Vivian Vachon is no longer with us, her ability to mesmerize fans and ignite audiences will always be remembered. When this fan first saw her, I was struck by how someone so young, shapely, flowing blond hair, only 21, was at the top of her game and the women’s wrestling world, going down in history as the fifth top female lady pro of all time.
A fellow distinguished woman of French descent, Jeanne Moreau said something that cleary applies to Ms. Vachon’s life. Biography.com shares Jeanne Moreau was born on January 23, 1928, in Paris, France. The daughter of a dancer in the Folies Bergère, Moreau began acting in her teens. She went on to become one of the pre-eminent actresses of the French New Wave film movement, starring in François Truffaut’s 1962 film Jules et Jim. By the start of the 21st century, Moreau had starred in more than 130 films and worked with a number of film legends, including Jean-Luc Godard, Orson Welles and Louis Malle.
What was one of her many thought provoking quotes?
Life is an accomplishment and each moment has a meaning and you must use it.
Legendary Vivian Vachon from Quebec certainly did.
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Source: http://feministhistories.ca/2013/01/07/new-history-of-quebec-feminism, Montrealgazatte.com, Tierney Williams of the University of California, Davis, published in the September/October 2007 issue of the journal Child Development, Wikipedia, Wikipedia, The life and loves of Vivian Vashon, Wrestling Queen by Greg Oliver, Wrestling Queen the movie, Pomerleau.info/genealogy/v/vachon_family, feministhistories.ca/2013/01/07/new-history-of-quebec-feminism, http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/quebec-womens-right-to-choose-their-name, http://lubbockonline.com/stories Sunday, September 15, 2002, MARY JANE SHORT Avalanche-journal, http://www.psychologytoday.com, The Benefits and Disadvantages of Large Versus Small Families,’Tis the Season to Be…..Thinking About Having Another Baby? Published on November 30, 2011 by Vivian Diller, Ph.D. in Face It , http://www.biography.com/people/jeanne-moreau-9414329, www.thefreedictionary.com/royalty, Photos courtesy Photobucket and Wikimedia Commons.