We are in week three of our virtual film fest! This week, we’ll watch a short lecture put together by The Great Courses!
No More Corsets: The New Woman
2015, part of The Great Courses – America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Watch the film here:
No More Corsets: The New Woman is one part of America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era from The Great Courses. The lecture is given by Edward O'Donnell Ph.D., and it’s a fascinating look at the lead-up to the women’s suffrage movement. Dr. O’Donnell speaks about all of the social change taking place for women between 1848 and 1920.
There were all of these different factors, brought on by changes in American society due to the Industrial Revolution, that ultimately led to the women’s suffrage movement. It’s interesting to see how these factors tied into to one another. For instance, delaying marriage meant that women could spend more time as students, so America saw a significant spike in women studying at the college level. And then these college-educated women entered the workforce, spent time with other women workers and spoke about the idea of women’s rights. From there the formation of women’s groups, that evolved from meeting about literature to wanting to bring on reforms, such as women’s suffrage.
I really enjoyed Dr. O’Donnell’s lecture and found it to be very informative. I love the lectures from The Great Courses, since they are always very well-researched and the experts are great in front of the camera. Dr. O’Donnell uses some great quotes and interesting anecdotes so that it doesn’t feel like a dry, boring lecture. I particularly enjoyed when he noted that in 1908 Cincinnati tried to ban women from driving and New York City tried to ban women from smoking, but neither law was passed. This is a fantastic way to learn a little more about society in the late 19th century and early 20th century and how the changes helped pave the way for the women’s suffrage movement.