A Room of One's Own

Danika Rockett
University of Baltimore
Summer 2010
 Kate
Chopin – The Awakening excerpt
 Virginia Woolf – A Room of One’s Own
 Alice Duer Miller – “Our Idea of Nothing at
All,” “Home and Where It Is”
 Chris Willis
– “’Heaven Defend Me from
Political or highly-educated women!’:
Packaging the New Woman for Mass
 Louisiana
 Forerunner of 20th century
feminist writing
 The Awakening focuses on
the confines of domestic
life for women
 Desiree’s Baby looks at
racism in the South
 She wrote as a way of
coping with depression
after her husband died
An essay based on a series of
 “A woman must have money
and a room of her own if she is
to write fiction.”
 Judith (“Shakespeare’s sister”)
• Uneducated
• Trapped at home
• Forced into marriage via beating
and humiliation
Criticized by Alice Walker for
“excluding women of color.”
 Are Women
People? (1915)
 Come Out of the Kitchen
 Women Are People! (1917)
 Famous suffragist
 Wrote satirical poems
 Her writing had a significant
effect on American public
There was a New Woman, as I’ve heard tell,
And she rode a bike with a horrible bell,
She rode a bike in a masculine way,
And she had a spill on the Queen’s Highway
As “New Woman” she is known
‘Tis her enemies have baptised her
But she gladly claims the name;
Hers it is to make a glory,
What was meant should be a shame
 1883
– 1900: More than 100 New Woman
 New Women were stereotyped
• Unnattractive
• Asexual
• Girton Girls and Bluestockings
• Avid Bicyclists
*See today’s reading by Chris Willis
 “Descendants” of
Mary Wollstonecraft
 1851 – 1901: Women in the workforce
increased from 2.8 million to 4.7 million
• teachers, nurses, clerks, Post Office*
 1867: National
Society for Women’s Suffrage
 New Women, and those who campaigned for
women’s rights, were often considered “sick”
(see Willis 63)
 1832
Reform Acts: Women officially can’t vote
 1865: John Stuart Mill elected to Parliament
 Suffragettes were imprisoned and force-fed
• This shocked the British public
 1903: Emmeline
Pankhurst formed Women’s
Social and Political Union
 1918 Qualification of Women Act: 30 and
 1928 Representation of the People Act: 21
and older
Iron Jawed Angels (2004)
 United
States and suffrage
• Individual states could allow the vote, but no
Constitutional Amendment existed
• Wyoming was first to allow women’s suffrage
• The 19th Amendment passed in 1920
 Carrie
Nation was a
famous 19th century
American woman who
opposed the sale of
 Had a reputation for
establishments that
sold alcohol
 Her image was used as
an icon for feminists
Described herself as “a bulldog
running along at the feet of Jesus,
barking at what He doesn't like”
 National
Women’s Suffrage
 Typically favored
 Notable leaders
• Susan B Anthony (1890
– 1900)
• Carrie Chapman Catt
(1900 – 1904, 1915)
• Anna Howard Shaw
(1904 – 1915)
 National Women’s
 Did not align itself
 Founded by Alice
Paul in 1916
This is the religion that Alice Paul belonged
Throughout the 19th century, Quakers
advocated to effect reforms first within
their religion and then in the wider arena
of American politics:
• Ending Slavery
• Fair Treatment of Native Americans
• Women's Rights
• Conflict Resolution
• Relief for All Who Suffer
National Women’s Party demonstrating in Washington D.C., 1917
 Had
Ph.D. from U of PA
 Founded NWP
 Original author of
proposed Equal Rights
Amendment of 1923
 Her home is now the
Sewall-Belmont House
and Museum in D.C.
 With
Alice Paul, she
helped form the NWP
 One of the first women
to attend Yale
 Her activism was
inspired by Emmeline
Suffered from
Pernicious Anemia
 Suddenly collapsed
during a speech.
 Her last public words
were, "Mr. President,
how long must women
wait for liberty?"[1]
 Known as the martyr of
the Women's Suffrage
 Journalist, newspaper
editor, activist
 Exposed racial hate
crimes in the South
 Founded the National
Afro-American Council,
which later became the
 Formed the Women's Era
Club, the first civic
organization for AfricanAmerican women