Random Images: The Joy of Trousers

(Last Updated On May 25, 2022)

In an earlier post, I included a postcard of a girl trying to be one of the boys. Gender aside, we are human beings who want to indulge in the pleasures of life. Until the fairly recent conveniences of life, the demanding requisites of reproduction and child-rearing for women made it more difficult for them—with the possible exception of girls born into aristocratic families. These postcards were meant to be humorous—it really shows how humor changes over time—but I feel a certain sadness when I look at them. That society should impose standards of dress and behavior on girls so that they are less able to experience the joys of freedom inspires pity. The opportunity to wear trousers (with permission or illicitly) must have seemed like a Godsend. A girl could then engage in exuberant physical activities with abandon and not risk appearing indecorous by accidentally exposing her private parts (with or without panties).

‘What a chance’ postcard (c1900)

4 thoughts on “Random Images: The Joy of Trousers

  1. Hey, just checking in. I do that on occasion. 😉 I would like to point out that the humor here is at the expense of the girl, and well, females in general. If you look closely at her apron, you can just make out the phrases ‘Votes for Women’—this is a fairly typical anti-suffrage postcard image of the Edwardian period, with the joke revolving around the old adage about who wears the pants in the family. Of course, your observations are spot on with respect to the feelings of females themselves, and that’s why I think this image projects a certain sympathy for the plight of girls even if unintentional. I have some other anti-suffrage postcard images and cartoons if you’re interested. It would be a good topic for a multi-image post.

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