Women in Pants: Manly Maidens, Cowgirls, and Other Renegades by Catherine Smith, Cynthia Greig, Cynthia Greig |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Women in Pants: Manly Maidens, Cowgirls, and Other Renegades

Women in Pants: Manly Maidens, Cowgirls, and Other Renegades

by Catherine Smith, Cynthia Greig, Cynthia Greig
     
 
Despite what most people may think, American women have always worn pants. Featuring an unusual collection of vintage photographs from the 1850s to the 1920s, Women in Pants documents an almost forgotten revolution in clothing. Defying convention, Victorian dress reformers as well as farmers, laborers, miners, cowgirls, and sportswomen openly wore trousers,

Overview

Despite what most people may think, American women have always worn pants. Featuring an unusual collection of vintage photographs from the 1850s to the 1920s, Women in Pants documents an almost forgotten revolution in clothing. Defying convention, Victorian dress reformers as well as farmers, laborers, miners, cowgirls, and sportswomen openly wore trousers, while other women disguised themselves in men's attire to get good jobs, go to combat, engage in relationships with other women, or experiment with gender identity.

Candid, often humorous quotes from contemporary newspapers and magazines complement the photographs and enhance our understanding of the culture and time in which these women lived. For some, wearing pants was a necessity; for others, it was an act of defiance; for still others, it was just fun.


About the Author:
Catherine Smith is an artist, curator, and an Associate Professor of Art at Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan. She lives in Fenton, Michigan. Cynthia Greig is a fine-art photographer and independent curator. She lives in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Entertaining and enlightening, this book provides an eloquent photo study of women wearing pants across the globe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Using 150 period photographs, with many from Smith's personal collection, the authors document an oft-unexplored side of these women's lives. Harem pants and such, common wear outside U.S. society, are explored in the chapter "Multicultural Influences: 'Very Peculiar Garb.'" A chapter on "Working Women: 'Do me a mess o' work . . . jes like a man'" includes painters, carpenters, ranchers, fisherwomen, miners, lumberjacks, factory workers, and a train conductor from the World War II influx of women into vacated men's jobs. Individual chapters cover cyclists, actresses, cowgirls, and other adventurous women. High quality black-and-white and sepia photographs illustrate every page spread of the text, bringing the subject to life. Chapters on romantic women and college women reveal Victorian expectations allowed for passionate female relationships as different from today's-women friends could be more expressive between themselves than with men, and some women's colleges expected girls to form crushes on one another. The photos alone are revealing, and the text provides further insight. From the reform costume of the late-nineteenth century through working women and mock weddings, this book explores the lot. This fascinating compilation should be useful for period studies and in history classrooms. It is recommended for library collections reaching secondary students and the general public. VOYA CODES: 5Q 3P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8;Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Harry N. Abrams, 183p.; Index. Photos. Source Notes., $35. Ages 11 to 18.
—Cynthia Winfield
Library Journal - Library Journal
Bold women defied tradition by wearing pants long before it was commonly accepted, as this fascinating book demonstrates in photographs dating from the 1850s to the 1920s. Whether famous, infamous, or unknown, these women are vividly displayed in archival photographs, drawn from varied sources, and well-researched, tantalizing essays. Some women wore pants in order to work in traditionally male-dominated occupations, such as mining, carpentry, ranching, and farming; the most daring even worked as lumberjacks and combat soldiers. Others who broke the dress code both out of necessity and defiance were actresses, college women, sporting women, and the otherwise adventurous. This beautiful book contains more than 100 photographs, many full-page. Their thematic arrangement allows a part of history unknown to many of us to come alive, making the book hard to put down. Both authors are also artists; installation artist and researcher Smith (art, Mott Community Coll.) and fine art photographer Greig have exhibited their work in galleries and museums nationwide. Sure to catch the attention of readers at all levels, this volume is highly recommended for larger public libraries and academic institutions with women's history collections.-Melody Ballard, Washoe Cty. Lib. Syst., Reno, NV Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810945715
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/2003
Pages:
184
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 10.62(h) x 1.00(d)

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