kottke.org writes that at The History Channel only wants male voices. Kottke argues that this might have to do with a belief in the male authoritative voice. I believe he might be right that a male - or rather old and male - audience would have more confidence in a male narrator than a female. However, it is sad that the perspective of professional history should be male as more and more historians are female.
I have read through the first volume of Nylænde - the Norwegian women's movement's journal 1887-1927.
In addition to articles on universal suffrage for women and more general views on women's position in society, 1887 seems to be a year devoted to "rational dress" (I do not find the same interest for this in later volumes). It has an article on the foundation of "Dragtreformforeningen i Stockholm" (The Society for Dress Reform in Stockholm) on 17th April 1886, it writes about "The Rational Dress Society" in London and has a review of Dress a journal founded in New York in May 1887 promoting good health through rational dress. A rather long article of the history of women's clothing adds to the debate. In addition there are several short notices of "hiking dress now on display in Stockholm", "girls in Copenhagen allowed to wear shorts underneath short skirt for gymnastic display" and "Steen & Støm [an Oslo department store] might take in divided skirts". There is even one article showing a picture of a hiking dress with "divided skirt".
I have earlier read about Bloomers in British and American history, but I had not thought about their impact in Norway. The importance of throuser skirts for the women's movement was obviously big. The authors behind these articles definitively long for something more practical to wear. They therefore make fun of some of the hiking skirts as being too big and silly. In additional to being practical, hygiene and health seem to be their strong argument for this new invention. However, the way these articles are written, "divided skirts" were definitively a novelty and something that the authors did not wear themselves.
I am interested in looking at feminism and women's liberation movements in the nineteenth century. I was thinking of a Norwegian/British comparison. There seems to be a relationship between modernisation and the development of feminism and I am thus wondering about the influence of industrialisation. England was the seat of the first industrial revolution in the eighteenth century. Norway did not come along until the second stage in the mid-nineteenth century. I do not think there has been written anything about this in the Norwegian context, but I would very much like to read some about the British situation. I am not looking for texts on the condition of women during the industrial revolution, of which I know there are many, but texts on the growth of feminist consciousness because of industrialisation.
Looking for something completely different I came across an article by Barbara Burman in Gender and History(2002): 'Pocketing the Difference: Gender and Pockets in Nineteenth-Century Britain (access with subscription).
This article tells the history of pockets, how pockets is a symbol of masculinity. The article starts with a quote from a woman looking back on her late 19th century girlhood missing having pockets in her skirts. Of course skirts looks better without pockets, but I have never thought of skirts as thus being more feminine. Life is easier with trousers with pockets.
Burman shows in the article a traditional 1890s photograph of a husband and wife. She is seated with her hands in her lap as to disguise any hidden pockets on the front of her skirt. The husband is standing next to here with one hand on the chair and the other in his trouser pocket, only the top button on his jacket being closed. Thus the waistcoat with the pocket and watch is visible. In addition he has a handkerchief in his breast pocket to emphasis this pocket too. I know I have seen people posing in pictures like this before, but I have never noticed the difference in pocket. It is really fascinating.
In my search for people writing on the question of women in the nineteenth century I came across Harriet Martineau this morning. I had not heard about her before and I therefore did some search on her.
Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) was obviously difficult to categorise as she was an active woman. According to different on-line sources she was a Unitarian, a women's activist, a journalist, a sociologist, a trancendentalist, an anti-slavery activist, a radical, a political economist, a writer, a traveller, etc.
Her views seems to have been influenced by Adam Smith, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham, Auguste Compte and her travels in the US. She wrote both books and articles on social and economic topics. She even wrote some novels, they also being of a political kind.