By Maureen Honey
The New Woman-an self sufficient, nontraditional, often career-minded girl for whom marriage and family members have been secondary-became a well-liked heroine in women’s journal fiction from the time of global conflict I during the Twenties. in this interval, American tradition entertained a brand new, feminist imaginative and prescient of gender roles that helped pave the way in which for contemporary photos of girls in public task. The tales during this assortment are drawn from the most important periodicals of the day-Ladies’ domestic magazine, Cosmopolitan, solid house responsibilities, Woman’s domestic spouse, and McCall’s-as good because the African-American journal The situation. each one tale is rooted in a few size of up to date feminism and explores a subject of constant significance, equivalent to unity between ladies, the lives of ladies of colour and working-class girls, sexual harassment, lesbian love, relations and marital bonds, and women’s relation to paid employment.
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Additional info for Breaking the Ties That Bind: Popular Stories of the New Woman, 1915-1930
Oppressive fathers are abandoned by unruly daughters and ill wives; men who insist woman's primary task is to serve their needs become paralyzed or die of a sudden heart attack; husbands with Victorian views of wives as homemakers jeopardize their marriages. " Though Cookie, who has kept her maiden name, runs an efficient household, Henry goes home to mother for nursing when he contracts the flu, piqued over his feminist wife's determination to keep her job. To his consternation, he is smothered by his mother's constant attention and is intensely annoyed by her lack of interest in the news.
But often what they wouldn't say in articles or editorials, they would get across in fiction. . The heroines were women of much rough and varied experience in both love and life, hard as nails, and willing to break any rule to obtain whatever pure and noble ideal they were pursuing. . It was as close as the magazines could come to approving openly the new freedom for women. 31 Comments from other editors made at the time echo this sentiment and indicate that the average reader was envisioned as a woman interested in the world, in public affairs, and in broadening her horizons.
260 "'I'll be very brave,' Narcissa promised Brian, her small hand on his arm. ' Vandy smiled Page viii grimly. Narcissa was spreading it on pretty thick," From "Bird Girl" (1929). " From "Henry's Divorce" (1929). 303 Page ix Acknowledgments When I was a graduate student at Michigan State University in the early 1970s, I had the good fortune to work with Russel Nye on my dissertation in American Studies. He was a co-founder of the Popular Culture Association and directed a graduate seminar, of which I was a member, on popular historical documents often overlooked by scholars.