American History 300
The Design of Freedom: Fashions Influence on Women’s Rights
Fashion is a major way one can physically represent themselves, having the power to show emotion, personality, and culture. Fashion allows one to get a sense of who one is, just by looking at them and their personal style. In early America, this very personal way of expression was stolen from women. Ultimately women were told what was acceptable in society, and expected to follow these beliefs. These expectations of how a respectable women should dress really affected woman mentally and physically. This unthinkable barrier women had to face eventually helped push women to fight for their natural born rights, often violated by men. The establishment of womens dress reforms and the influence of fashion in early America helped many American women obtain the courage and ability to express themselves, leading up to and after their fight for equal rights against the social expectations implied by not only men, but society as a whole.
Throughout most of the 1800’s women were almost always downgraded by males. They were never given the opportunity to express themselves or asked to express their thoughts and opinions on a situation. They were only expected to cook, clean, and watch after the children, as opposed to men, who had the privilege to go to work, vote, and dress the way they felt. Though there were views on how both male and female should dress, the idea of how a female should dress was much more unreasonable as opposed to men.
All year round women were expected to wear impractical and uncomfortable clothes that not only greatly affected their health, but ultimately prevented them from living an effective life (Ri...
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...wed styles around the world (Furman 1). Many Women wanted to emulate their looks, and gained confidence and sparked their need for freedom.
Overall Fashion and the presence of clothing greatly influenced women to fight for equal rights. Without the presence of fashion in America in the 1800’s women would not have had a physical form of protest like wearing the bloomers (Cullen 1), many would never had gotten involved with women 's rights, and women would have never had a way to find a way to express themselves in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The fight to allow women to wear what they want and the establishment of womens dress reforms in early America helped many American women obtain the courage and ability to express themselves, leading to and after their fight for equal rights against the social expectations implied by not only men, but society as a whole.
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