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oxlade –Dissertation

literature review
Primary data

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The initial aim of this study is to find out 
to what degree of autonomy has the shift through women having their own
bodies, the key aims is to understand why, how and when the shifted transformed
the revolutionary impact in today’s society for women.

Background literature will form the foundation for the research. Two separate
areas have been examined; the impact women have had in the last 50 years
alongside the shift of the way they are seen into fashion trends

Literature review

to grasp the true development, within the history of women. Is to firstly
understand the long history of modern, urban, industrial society, thus the
development of a separation between the public and private spheres. Although,
there was often a gender based division of labour and the male dominance, this
developed within the cities, Industry and capitalism, of course the public
sphere, dominated only by men. Restricted, controlled and somewhat made women
unwanted, lead them to be constricted to the private sphere. This was to be at
home along with looking after her children, her husband and the home itself!
Women had little involvement on anything public, political and economic. Indeed
there were a few women involved in the public sphere but even then, there was
ways that controlled and restricted them from being entirely involved in the
public sphere (or a man’s world).

Yet Women’s aspiration particularly began to change after the First World War,
Women before the war, were continuously told that their soft, fragile and
inferior to all men. The restrictions of society and the war had a sudden shift
for women’s opinion of themselves as women. This temporary role of
responsibility and leadership handed over in the moment of crisis. That the
posters put up to prompt the women of the country to, show what they’re worth,
that the propaganda for enlisting these women that two aspects that patriotic
appeal, the positive “do your part” and the negative “a soldier may die, if you
don’t do your part” warning. The
campaign slogan “The More Women at Work-The Sooner We’ll Win”
promised women that their contributions could bring their men home sooner a
reinforced mobilisation by gender.

This shift had a completely different impact on the way these women’s lives
changed, women were equal not in the eyes of the laws, sociality or anything
according to men, but within the progress the women keeping the country safe
helped them have a sense of a man’s role and responsibility. Campaigns exhorted them to nurse injured
servicemen, temporarily take up untraditional occupations, and to manufacture
arms for the front. Numerous publications valorised ‘our adaptable women’, now
farmers, station-masters, stokers, railway greasers, bricklayers, carpenters,
butchers, brewers, and chimney sweeps. “How to reconcile the paradox that the same
women who made the bullets and shells, responsible for the deaths of so many,
would also be the mothers of the next generation?”

illusions about a better world for women, lurked in the back of their minds
even when the war was over and their husbands, fathers and sons came home,
taking back what was “rightfully” theirs, the women of the war went back to
what was left of their day to day life while the men continued as they have
always was it just a role planted by men over history, that women are the
inferior gender. Yes in great deal the Second World War gave even more hope,
for the liberation of women trying to work hard, be equal.

In 1958, Fiona MacCarthy was one of many girls to be present at Buckingham
Palace, these debutantes made a formal curtsey to their monarch. It began, the
starting point of the examination, of the way the aristocracy was forced to
change its ways and behaviour in the 20th century. Although these
activities continued in private.

As the shift caused the “good girl” to revolt, like the women’s suffrage
movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The
confidence, that women’s involvement into society in the 1960’s early 70s were
in some respect the turning point, it was a sense of new freedom and the new
aspirations. The autonomy that many generations of women before them desired to
have, breaking through the patriarchy system. Freud stated, that women were to
be ruled by men, and her sickness was to envy himHEo1 . Although Freud would be enraged with
anger if he could see how far we have got! The
old prejudice- women are animals, less than human, unable to think like men,
born merely to breed and serve men’.

Spreading over the whole of the United kingdoms,
the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s, ’70s
and ’80s gathered together women, of many class, race, age,
sexuality and disability. Forming small consciousness-raising groups and women’s centres, these groups supported the movement either
in their local community centres or a basic rooms in their own homes. Operated
on women reclaiming, exploring and having full control over their own bodies.
These women could find a place of peace and freedom as they worked together hold meetings, run workshops, socialising,
and provide advice about their bodies, feeling, and their role to their
husbands and children.

For some women this was a place where they took temporary refuge away from the
domestic trouble of the home unlike Jalna Hanmer
(sisterhood British library talks about consciousness-raising groups in she
sates that even throughout being a part of the group for many years she felt as
if she didn’t have anything to talk about ” I never told them anything, I was
the least bit interested in discussing anything personal really, in them
groups”  but this did not stop her from
attending regular meetings for many years. Many
of the campaigns for the movement grew out of these small groups and women’s
centres, the impact of trying take that step forward for the women’s
liberation. Some women apart of these consciousness-raising
groups designed and created leaflets,
posters and newsletters. This was their own ways of spreading the news to
others and encouraging women and girls to join the movement and help others
understand about the oppression, making women question the conditions of their lives, and their relationships
with men, as those women were about to enter living their lives; of rapid
social and cultural change of the sixties. “They were required to talk because
that’s the way you discover your oppression” Jalna Hanmer, sister hood date,
the British library.

The first conference that the Women’s liberation movement (WLM) held was on the
28th February 1970 in Oxford. “Not
to plead for concession but to demand rights”.
Almost six hundred women attended, most of these women were a part of the consciousness-raising groups or individuals who came to
support the movement.  During this
conference “topics range from houseware, to politics, women in third world
countries and the trade union, there were large sessions and smaller discussions”
for the  demands for women to have  equal pay, Equal educational/job
opportunities, Free contraception and abortion on demand and Free 24-hour
nurseries. This was only the beginning in the defining women’s liberation, a
step forward.

Because of this first conference and the massive audience it gathered, these
women didn’t stop there. In the coming year, without them knowing they were
about to make a revolutionary impact for women. There were seven more
conferences that helped the legalisation and financial independence for all
women, the right to a self-defined sexuality. Ending the discrimination again
lesbians along with what many generations of women would have desired to have
freedom from intimidation by the treat or use of violence and sexual coercion
regardless of marital status; and an end to the laws, assumptions and
institutions which perpetuate male dominance and aggression to women.

spurring over the united states of America Betty Friedan prompted a reaction
from all women, the feminine mystique
which held the example of the bored miserable housewife of America, as an
argument that women were not destined to find happiness solely through
maintaining a house hold and so second wave feminism defined its aims in much
more definition to the liberation encouraging women to do their part; to make
life meaningful “millions of women lived their lives in the image of
those pretty pictures of the American suburban housewife, kissing their
husbands good-bye in front of the picture window, depositing their station
wagons full of children at school, and smiling as they ran the new electric wax
over the spotless kitchen floor. They baked their own bread, sewed their own
and children’s clothes, and kept their new washing machines and dryers running
all day…..”  The recognition of how in
the previous centuries on how the system worked mainly benefiting the male
dominance, although the men did not understand why their wives wanted to work
when their jobs were to the home. An over bearable image in my mind, the laws that contained the women into the private
sphere of marriage, gender over rights. The mystery that they couldn’t solve,
“the problem that has no name”

In today’s society there are many things still
worth fighting for but will it take women another 50 years to have full rights
over their bodies?

“…women who ‘adjust’ as housewives, who grow up wanting to be ‘just a
housewife,’ are in as much danger as the millions who walked to their own death
in the concentration camps…they ate suffering a slow death of mind and

it wasn’t that the feminists did not want to be attractive or didn’t
appreciate beauty but more the image of the women propagated by the advertising
industries. The Women’s Liberation Movement
resisted ideas of beauty, manufactured in the marketplace, instead embracing
beautiful women of all ages, sizes and types. Its main focus was of the
physical, mental and spiritual self-possession and confidence of every women,
even those whom were too scared to join because their husbands “disapproved” of
it because it wasn’t the way of the system, but the answer is simple.

“It is
difficult to imagine a slavery more senseless, cruel, or far-reaching in its
injurious consequences than that imposed by fashion on civilized womanhood
during the past generation. Her health has been sacrificed, and in countless
instances her life has paid the penalty; while posterity has been dwarfed,
maimed, and enervated, and in body, mind, and soul deformed at its behests. …
The tight lacing required by the wasp waists has produced generations of
invalids and bequeathed to posterity suffering that will not vanish for many
decades. By it, as has been pointed out by the authorities cited, every vital
organ in the body has been seriously affected.” Flower BO. Fashion’s slaves. Boston:
Arena Pub. Co.; 1892

It is understandable these women of a particular feminist views, do
not think that it is right for the women to adhere to fashion; as to them it
would only continue this oppression, that has held women hostage for century’s
Georg Simmel’s 1895 essay on fashion addresses the social cohesion that allows
women to have often participated in fashion because of the motivational art of
imitation and distinction which placed them out of the public sphere, this is
why women somewhat women accepted their supposed inferiority and staked their
worth on their ability to attract men.

Certainly women took part in a system that does not take consideration in their
own comfort, the focus on the socially accepted ideals of femininity. The
oppression of corset’s, not only imposed specific ideals of feminine beauty
upon women but also restricted the women who could not work in factories or the
fields when wearing such restrictive clothing, the tightly laced corset reduced
lung capacity, irritated the skin and weaken the back. just to achieve that
hour glass figure by tightly lacing up the corset would potentially change the
shape of the rib cage, medical professions came out protesting that the women
wore these corsets and it caused more harm than the women thought. Throughout
my research I have come across Dr. O’Followell, The Corset, History, Medicine, Hygiene
… Medical Study, with a preface from Dr. Lion 1908 from the photos below of
the transformation of the waist there is no evidence that women had lower ribs removed
to decrease their waist, this was done by de

Fig. 26: Female torso with corset.
Fig 27: X-ray of a female torso without a corset. In O’Followell, Le Corset,
vol. 2, 1908.

The restrictions and the way they believe that women adhere to the progression
of women within fashion, it is an unfortunately truth that feminism and fashion
haven’t always seen eye to eye, “the relationship between two suffering due to,
two opposing ideas; Fashion is a powerful tool women can use to forge identity
and influences others, or that fashion is a force that oppresses women were” Never
the less, as the rise of the movement flowed in, so did the opportunity to
change the look of the women, indeed the women’s liberation movement resisted
ideas of what the idea of beauty, the notion of femininity was challenged, by
many the feminist! cady Stanton  has held throughout much of feminism history
; it is impossible to be both feminine and fashionable

Primary data

The research that I will conduct will focus on the opportunity that will
provided a better understanding of what women think about their own liberation.

The questionnaire has mainly focused on an end disscuion that will impact my
own conclusion; I mainly want to focus on how women of the 21st
century should do to move forward the rights to their own bodies and how the
fashion industry has turned the idea of being a feminist into more in fashion
than demanding the rights of liberation!

my questions:

I have basic knowledge of the meaning of feminist/feminist movement? Yes/no
Do you think women should be able to work in the government?
Do you think that women aren’t moving forward with their right to liberate in
the 21st century?
DO you think that women have fulfilled their full potential in the liberation
Do you think it will take another 50 years for women to have full control over
their bodies?
Do you think every women should be apart of the feminist movement or group?
Is is normal for women in n
this day and age to obsess about
their looks
does the word feminist or feminism have the same impact in this day and age as
it did in the 1960s
Has fashion turned being a feminist into a fashion trend for todays generation?

What constitutes masculinity and femininity in this day and age?


The responses were analysed using grounded theory and the
following themes identified:

Bracelets were the most popular item of jewellery amongst the participants and
were frequently being worn in large quantities. The most common bracelets were
plaited cotton friendship bracelets, rubber charity bands and festival entry



After my results I will format them into a summary of the discussed questions

knowingly over the last sixty years the liberation of women has been one of the
most important movements for social justice along with gender. However
throughout this paper, I have not only widened my own knowledge of the subject
but also I have begun to question the life of women now and what it now mean to
be a women.

Yet it seems that in this day and age there is “smoke screen” of “choice and
agency is widely supported not only by the beauty industries, media, magazine
publications and fashion but as Jennifer
Baumgardner authors of Manifesta: Young Women,
Feminism, and the Future suggested in this day and age that feminism isn’t
about what choice you make, but it is the freedom in what you choose that
should liberate you as a women. Women of the generations went into marrying
early, the denial of everything educational, to rape and domestic violence.

Yet  it is widely believed that feminism
has been achieved its aims and achievements in being “equal” or now having more
power than the male dominance but I believe that we haven’t helped enough to
support the women of the movement, have we really come to the end?

 HEo1indeed siggumd freud grow up with his attuide built around his
culture. Not only was the culture of Victorian Europe, but jewish culture! His
views on women were that women were a strange, inferior, less-than-human
species. When the noise of his sister playing the piano interrupted his studies
‘the piano would disappear’, anna frued recalled ‘and with all opportunities
for his sister to become musicians

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