Would you have ever thought bloomers, BLOOMERS, were a part of the Women’s Sufferage Movement?! Until last week I had absolutely no clue. I’ve been helping K. getting ready for a Pioneer Trek the youth are taking this week. I was converting some pjs and checking just a couple of details when google turned up some links on how they came into fashion.
It seems Amelia Bloomer (who edited the first newspaper for women “The Lily”) wanted to reform women’s clothing back in the early 19th century. She felt women should feel attractive in their clothing, but that was secondary to “health, comfort, and usefulness”. So she adopted the outfit pictured above from Elizabeth Smith Miller and publicized it in her paper.
And because they also wanted the right to vote and other rights for women those that wore bloomers were ridiculed and criticized in the press as well as in public.
I will admit, I’m glad they abandoned bloomers. I can think of other things done in the name of making a statement for women’s rights that I simply wouldn’t have done. I AM glad that these women had the courage to speak and be a voice for change when they saw it needed to be done.
Amelia wrote in the first issue of The Lily, “Surely, she may without throwing aside the modest refinements which so much become her sex, use her influence to lead her fellow mortals from the destroyer’s path.”
I’d like to sit and talk with her for a while. I think it would be a great conversation.