Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Bachelor" women

Brides are depicted as June flowers on this Puck cover illustration, 1905. Library of Congress.
We often think of women pursuing education and careers as a modern occurrence — since the 1950s or so. But even at the turn of the century, this phenomenon was happening at such a significant rate that many single women, dubbed "bachelor women," were beginning to view marriage as a choice, not their "only means of livelihood." Men did not always welcome the change:
"One would have thought that all potential husbands would have welcomed a change offering assurance that in the future their proposals would be accepted on their merits, but this is not so. Many men feel it as a slight upon their sex that women, once the pressure of hard necessity has been removed, should choose single blessedness. Such perverse action on their part runs counter to the cherished masculine belief that any and every woman would always prefer some sort of husband rather than none at all."The New York Times, June 4, 1911

1 comment:

  1. Great find! Do you know what section of the NYTs that came from?