Annie Oakley fell in love with Frank Butler who said he was the champeen of shooting. She swooned. She begged him to like her. He wanted a girl with soft hands and shiny nails, and one who smelled good. She polished herself up and did everything she could do to make him ask her to marry him.
She learned to read. She learned to wear white gloves.
One thing she didn’t have to learn was hot to shoot a gun. And, truth be told, she was better than he was.
Toward the end of the Broadway play, they are reunited after her stint in Europe where she earned many medals. They declare their love for each other and plan their wedding in song. He wants a small wedding where she will vow to love and “obey” him. She wants a big wedding without the word “obey.”
A spat starts and they sing “I can do anything better than you.” This swooney girl had grown up and now knew what she was worth. She knew that she was better at what they both did.
They decide to settle it with a shooting match. This is where it gets interesting.
Her friends know that she can shoot the best, but know that she can’t “get a man with a gun.” So they rig the gun so it won’t shoot straight and she will lose and big Frank Butler (the Champeen) will win.
She misses all four shots, he gives her his gun. She is ahead, and then he loses on purpose.
At the end of the play they are holding each other and have decided that their marriage will be a partnership.
Frank Butler began as a male headship guy, while she began as a strong woman gone mushy. She grew up but he remained the same until the end where he realized that he couldn’t live without her by his side.
Don and I saw a group of home-schooled Christian youth present “Annie, Get your Gun” this afternoon. I wondered if they saw what I saw in that musical. I also wondered what the parents saw as they heard the boy and girl declare that their marriage would be a partnership.
Will you help get the message out that a partnership marriage is healthier than a marriage where one has headship over the other?