I’ve been thinking a lot about my first-wave-feminist Sisters, Gentle Reader, and how they managed to fight, violent, militant, peaceful, or otherwise, for a cause they believed in so strongly, they were willing to go to prison, go on hunger strikes, and even die for it. These are women to be admired, respected, and most importantly, remembered. We often forget the work of our Sister Suffragettes, and when I write about the nineteenth century, I try to incorporate them into my academic and my fictional works. Suffragettes play a large part in my novel, and the cause for women’s rights does, as well. But so does, of course, the fashions.
The idea that Suffragettes were ugly harridans was an invention of the popular press to pull away sympathy from their cause. Further, it’s simply not true. I have written and published on this very subject, and it’s important to me that people realize feminism and fashion are not distinct but rather, can work in harmony with each other. Look only to our Edwardian Sisters for the example. Emmeline’s hat and dress were all chosen very carefully to garner that respect she wanted.
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