(56 Year Old Female): It is hard to imagine a time when we did not have the rights that we have today. I cannot imagine any female not wanting to improve their lot and to be willing to have society (and men) dictate what they could wear and what they can do. I never thought about how much the clothing back them affected their mobility and their health. I really don't know if I would have had the courage back them to speak out and change what was not right, but I hope that ithat I would have spoken out against the injustice of how women were treated and how even the clothes they wore were dictated to them.
(31 Year Old Female): I imagine it certainly affects how most women dress now. I wonder what it would have been like had this debate not happened until decades later. It is interesting to look at what is considered "modest" these days. Some religious groups adhere to some of those same guidelines (can't show legs), but without all the layers. As someone who likes to have fun with my clothing, am certainly glad it happened-I can't imagine being stuck in constrictive layers. I've done enough historic interpretation/reenacting to know how ridiculous it can be to go about daily life with all those layers!
(45 Year Old Man): I wonder how much science was going into this at that time. I mean, NOW we can see what effect it had on the bodies, but how much of the scientific/medical insight did they really have at that time? I am not sure if that is the response you want, but it is something to think about.
(11 Year Old Male): I feel that this affected all of us. My Mom use to tell me how she was not allowed to wear pants to school. They did not allow them till about the 1970's. Then things started changing really fast. Changes had to happen earlier to allow women to decide what they wanted to wear. Without those early days the later days could not have happened.
(28 Year Old Female): It affects us still today. There are still many people who discriminate against the idea of women in pants and suits. As if it was mannish and unsexual. I have been told by a couple of women that I needed to dress more womanly. I am glad that I am able to dress the way I want. I usually wear flannels, jeans and work boots. Would I been able to if the debate did not happen - I don't know, but I do know that women's rights paved the way for a lot of changes.
(64 Year Old Female): When I was in high school (1960's) girls were not allowed to wear pants or shorts. Our skirts could be no shorter than the top of our knee caps. Same applied to the first college I attended. I remember a group of older female students (in their 40s & 50s) being kicked out of the school because one day they came in wearing pant suits. As ridiculous as that was, I am so very thankful I didn't have to deal with the wardrobe nightmare my ancestors endured on a daily basis. But I wonder if they even thought about the hazards or if they just dress for fashion.
(42 Year Old Male): Pleae see the 1900 House. It was a series on BBC presented on PBS. A London family lived for months in a restored victorian home & had to live in the middle class victorian style. The mother & eldest daughter had to wear corsets as was the fashion @ that time. The mother became ill & short of breath & was sent to the doctor where they discussed the effect of corsets on health & showed illustrations from medical books of the time that showed defromity to the body & changes in the internal organs from corset wearing.
(41 Year Old Female) I grew up in a very conservative, religious household. We were not allowed to wear pants because of the verse in the Bible of pertaining to male clothes. We had to wear dresses, skirts, and culottes. We were allowed to wear sweats (or long johns or pj bottoms) under our clothes when it was freezing. We would have a long skirt and boots so the sweats didn't show. We were not allowed to wear jewelry, makeup, and cut our hair. As soon as I married, I went and bought me some jeans My girls can wear pretty much anything as long as it's modest (no low cut, too tight, or too short). All my friends wear pants, as well, except for one. It's definitely her husband dictating how she dresses.
I guess what I'm saying is that for some women and girls the oppression of dress has never changed all that much minus the corsets. The men in their lives are still trying to control and dictate how they dress but now it's based mainly on religion.
(14 Year Old Male) I don't know about the gilded age but I hear stories about how it was a big deal when my Mom wanted to wear blue jeans. That seems like another revolution according to their recounts of it...since no-one was wearing them them.