The late 1800s were quite the crazy time to be a woman. Or a man, for that matter! For the first time in history, women were no longer satisfied being housewives. They found themselves wanting to get an education, a job and a life outside of the one their mothers had and the one they were raised to want. These changes were impacting men, too, as the family structures they had grown comfortable with were turned on their heads.

 A New Woman having a quarrel with her husband.

A New Woman having a quarrel with her husband.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Public Domain 

Flossie, the protagonist of my latest book, Tiffany Girl, experiences this first hand. After being recruited to create stained glass for the Chicago World’s Fair, she tells her family that she will be moving out of the house and into the city to become a working woman, or a “New Woman" as they called them back then.

 Women workers in New York City 

Women workers in New York City 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Public Domain

A typical day in the life of a New Woman would include activities that were in the past only deemed appropriate for men, and for many, these new roles were hard to understand. Women were breaking down barriers and transforming the status quo.

Check out this chart that compares the roles of traditional women and New Women at the turn of the century: 

Do you think you would have gone the more traditional route, or would you have been a more controversial New Woman?