Saturday, June 20, 2015

The "Modern Girl" creates quite the discussion

Jane Nicholas reads from her book: The Modern Girl: Feminine Modernities, the Body, and Commodities, in the 1920's. Maybe our grandmothers and great grand mothers were standing by to hear how they changed society by getting jobs, moving to the cities and asserting their independence. They ran into opposition from conservative feminists, the churches, society at large not to mention horrified parents. As author historian Jane Nickolas put it: "with her short skirt, her bobbed hair, her penchant for smoking, drinking, dancing and jazz, the "modern girl" was a fixture of the 1920's consumer culture. She appeared in art, film, fashion and advertising as well as on the streets of the towns from coast to coast."  Nicholas argues that this feminine image was central to the creation of what it meant to be modern and female in Canada.

A lively Q&A followed the reading, with many in the audience at the Northern Womanb's Bookstore recalling stories of their foremothers.  We toasted her in tea, coffee and goodies, before heading out with the book.

Margaret Phillips of the Norther Woman's Bookstore with historian Jane Nicholas.

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