By Trisha Franzen
Americans have lengthy held quick to a inflexible definition of womanhood, revolving round husband, domestic, and kids. ladies who rebelled in contrast definition and carved out autonomous lives for themselves have frequently been rendered invisible in U.S. history.
In this strange comparative examine, Trisha Franzen brings to gentle the striking lives of 2 generations of self sufficient girls: innovative period spinsters and mid-twentieth century lesbians. whereas either teams of ladies comparable paths to independence--separating from their households, pursuing schooling, discovering paintings, and developing woman-centered communities--they confronted various fabric and cultural problem and got here to say very assorted identities.
Many of the turn-of-the-century girls have been admired in the course of their time, from the world over well-known classicist Edith Hamilton via early administrators of the Women's Bureau, Mary Anderson and Freida Miller. Maturing through the time of a vast and strong women's move, they have been between that era's new ladies, the often-single girls who have been seen as within the forefront of women's fight for equality.
In distinction, never-married ladies after global conflict II, specially lesbians, have been thought of past the faded of genuine womanhood. earlier than the women's and gay/lesbian liberation activities, they'd no optimistic modern photographs of other lives for girls. Highlighting the similarities and adjustments among women-oriented girls confronting altering gender and sexuality structures, Spinsters and Lesbians therefore strains a continuum between ladies who built lives open air institutionalized heterosexuality.