By Maureen Honey
The New Woman-an autonomous, nontraditional, frequently career-minded lady for whom marriage and relatives have been secondary-became a favored heroine in women’s journal fiction from the time of global conflict I during the Nineteen Twenties. in this interval, American tradition entertained a brand new, feminist imaginative and prescient of gender roles that helped pave the best way for contemporary pictures of ladies in public job. The tales during this assortment are drawn from the largest periodicals of the day-Ladies’ domestic magazine, Cosmopolitan, reliable home tasks, Woman’s domestic spouse, and McCall’s-as good because the African-American journal The obstacle. every one tale is rooted in a few measurement of latest feminism and explores a subject matter of continuous value, similar to team spirit between ladies, the lives of ladies of colour and working-class ladies, sexual harassment, lesbian love, relations and marital bonds, and women’s relation to paid employment.
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Extra resources for Breaking the Ties That Bind: Popular Stories of the New Woman, 1915-1930
Finally, I am delighted to realize that the strong women in my family hovered over me in my many hours of reading and perusing these beautiful old periodicals. As I thumbed through articles on flower gardens, recipes, dress patterns, and advertisements, I thought of my paternal grandmother, Florence Pearl Honey, who kept a lovely home during the 1920s in Detroit, Michigan, and who shaped my own household aesthetics. I also was visited by the ghosts of my maternal grandmother, Zilda Miner, and great-grandmother, ''Mimi,'' who could have stepped out of the fantasies recorded here.
One of these is the determination of audience. 24 Fiction was selected based on the editors' own judgment of audience appeal, and their success was determined by circulation figures rather than reader polls. The methods used then were unacceptably speculative by today's academic standards. Furthermore, due to the many changes in ownership over the years and the folding of publications, researchers cannot obtain many of the records that may have been kept on audience characteristics. 26 To posit a correlation between reader perspectives on a variety Page 8 of issues and popular literature is, at best, a problematic endeavor; and when texts are removed from us in time, the potential for misinterpretation is even greater.
For one thing, she worked alone and claimed private space when women's family role entailed rather constant interaction with others. In addition, she engaged in work that lasted as opposed to the unceasing chores of housework. More important, though, art bridged the gap between woman's traditional sphere and the new ideal of assimilation into public roles. It captured one aspect of nineteenth-century conceptionsthe responsibility of women for cultural elevationand merged it with the idea of individual endeavor outside the home.