One hundred years ago Manitoba women were the first in the nation to win the right to vote. By 1920 the majority of women in the United States, Britain and Canada had the vote, the Holy Grail of the first women's movement. But what happened then? After the epic struggle of the movement's indomitable leaders why did feminism seemingly disappear until the reawakening in the 1960's, "Women's Lib"?
Did liberation in the 1920's become the right to "bend the elbow" in a cabaret or bare one's ankles and knees? Or was emancipation from endless childbirth more important than enfranchisement? What were the setbacks and what were the new victories--the stories that history books too often ignore?
Was prohibition the ultimate triumph for the temperance crusaders of the women's movement or was it the movement's undoing, the law of unintended consequences? While Madison Avenue, Hollywood and "scientific experts" increasingly dictated the lifestyle of the middle-class "New Woman", who was speaking for, or at, the working class, farm or immigrant woman?
These 4 lively presentations will examine the lasting impact of the First World War on women's lives and the divisions and diversions that affected the women's movement. While some attention will be given to famous political "persons"--and to those who might be famous--but for being hidden from history, mostly the focus will be the social and economic trends that influenced the lives of everyday women between the wars.