For 2nd time, woman gives Chicago athlete 1-finger salute

"Fishing for quotes again? Sorry, I'm unavailable for comment at this time."

Like many American men, I've been trained — with the rat cage on my head and without — to believe with all my heart that women are better than men.

What's disturbing to me is that East Coast females may be sinking into a new public idealized vulgarity, sort of like those shrieking fishwives of the 18th century.

Remember fishwives? These were loud, raunchy females who sold fish on the docks. They were known to cuss like sailors, drink gin like sailors, take snuff like sailors and put a pipe between their yellowed teeth like sailors.

They were known to make rude hand gestures and were famed for their "colorful language."

"I've never given the finger," said a Chicago woman, whose denial was witnessed by my friend Old School.

Never?

"No, never."

And I believe her. For the record, my first cousin Kris lives near Boston, and I stipulate that she, too, has never given the finger. There must be many other gracious ladies of Boston who, like Kris, don't go around flipping the bird at visiting hockey players struggling in a game.

"I think there is less a sense of fear of public shaming," scholar Regina Barreca was quoted as saying in Madamenoir.com about the new vulgarity among some women. "We've got all kinds of other things that are permissible. In a way, those hard-won rights that women have been able to sort of gain, where we've been able to speak up and be ambitious and be sexual and control parts of our lives."

Especially the part between the ring finger and the index finger of the human hand.

Only a few months ago, the famed Miami Heat fan Filomena "The Finger" Tobias was immortalized in a photograph as she flipped off Bulls center Joakim Noah.

And then Tobias' life story came out, including the part about the male go-go dancer named Tiger that she promised to her millionaire husband, just before the husband mysteriously drowned in the family pool.

Since then, other "fingers" have been raised, on the East Coast and even in the eastern Midwest, but happily not among female Chicago Blackhawks fans.

In Ohio, middle school study hall monitor Patricia A. Hall resigned after photos surfaced of her and a student posing with their middle fingers rampant. She is 64 years old.

And let's not forget Penelope Soto, 18, of Florida, who was immortalized in court video during a drug hearing.

She didn't like what the judge was saying, so she saluted him with her finger and a choice phrase, the last word of which was "you."

The judge gave her 30 days in jail for the finger alone.

History is unclear about the origin of the finger. Some say it was invented during the time of the Emperor Nero.

Others insist it was developed by the brave English archers who first plucked the sturdy English yew longbows to murderous effect during the Hundred Years War.

But it's been perfected, as you can see, by that woman who loves the Bruins, the Boston finger chick expressing herself as best she knows how.

jskass@tribune.com

Twitter @John_Kass

CHICAGO

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