Can women be happy without men?

May 31, 1907

I found this article on women and marriage while finding articles for my analysis project. My project was on wedding fashion, and this article talks about how women don’t consider marrying a man the ultimate way to get a happy life anymore. The writer of this article is very angry about it, saying “Where else [women’s papers] would anyone dare to imply that woman was sufficiently idiotic to believe that marriage “of itself alone” guaranteed anything?” I honestly kind of thought this article was funny. It was just funny to see the writer get so worked up they had to write an article about it that is mostly made up of quotes and not a lot of their own thoughts (pretty bad journalism if you ask me).

Something interesting about this was the fact that women are being blamed for the decline in marriage within this article, when there are incidents like one I found in a previous blog post- a crazy man killing his wife. Similar to in the Gazette, the writer of the blog post suggests the woman may be at fault for her unhappy marriage. They suggest that she might have cheated on her husband, causing him to kill her.

Similarly, there is another blog post, titled “Women Are Always Lying?”, which describes an article that rants about how women lie to men by changing their appearance (presumably through makeup). Women are depicted as “a creature of broad and gradual curves, whose first duty it is to persuade you that she is the shape of the fashionable corset…” I can’t speak for women back then, but now women really don’t dress up for the sake of impressing men.

When women are treated like this by men in newspaper articles, its really no wonder why they create their own newspapers to say that “it is possible to be as happy without a man’s love as with it.”

Sonali Pustam
Sonali Pustam

The author, a student at Florida State University, was enrolled in the digital microhistory lab in spring 2018.