How did the movement of women react to the ideals of womanhood in Victorian England? To what extent was it successful in bringing some reforms by the end of 19th century?
Many women believed in the ideals of womanhood of Victorian England. But not everyone accepted these values. Over the 19th century, ideas were changing.
The following points state how women react to norms of clothing
(i) By the 1830s, women in England began agitating for their democratic rights . With this suffrage movement, many started campaigning for dress reform.
(ii) Women’s magazines clarified that tight dresses and corsets caused deformities and illness among young girls and women in an authentic way by giving doctor’s view about this.
(iii) In America, similar movements developed among the white settlers on the East coast.
(iv) They argued that long skirts swept grounds,were unhealthy and hampered the movement. Clothes of women should be comfortable and convenient, so that women could work and became independent.
(v) In 1870, there was a movement for dress reform.
Mrs Stanton of National Woman Suffrage Association and Lucy Stone of American Woman Suffrage Association both campaigned for dress reform. Their argument was : simplify dress, shorten skirts and abandon corsets.