I started reading when I was a toddler, and it has long been both escapism and passion to me. However, whereas I used to devour fiction, my love for the written word has expanded in the past year to include historical works of non-fiction. If you think of the books in the world as existing in a candy store, you could say that I’d been enjoying one floor my entire life, blissfully unaware that thousands of equally delightful options existed.
One of the most important things I’ve learned is how little I really know, and this is as true of some of the historical bases for feminism as it is anything else.
I’d heard of Rosie the Riveter, of course, and had read a fair amount of feminist literature (from Mary Wollstonecraft to Andrea Dworkin) in college, but the “touched upon” nature that one receives in a survey class is completely different than diving …
I am little obsessed with everything vintage. Just last week, I bought two super cute 1950s-style dresses from my favorite thrift store. One is pale yellow and the other is floral with a full skirt, and I love them. I am obsessed with vintage dresses in the way some people are with vodka or the Kardashians. While I adore the fashions of the 50s, it’s a little bit ironic for me to dress in clothing from an era in which women were treated with little or no dignity. If I were a 1950s housewife, I am certain that I would have been a raging alcoholic to cope with the prospect of keeping a pristine home and constantly having to starch my husband’s shirts.
While looking over these vintage ads was shocking, it was also kind of wonderful. I’d like to view these atrocities with a glass half-full mentality. Can you believe that women were treated like this? It’s hard to wrap my brain around. But isn’t it amazing how we’ve turned it around? I am so very thankful to all of those wonderful women that demanded equality, because without all the amazing ladies that came before us, imagine were we would be right now.
No. On second thought, don’t. Because it’d be bad.