Slightly Steampunk: Women in Pants

Only slightly Steampunk tonight, but sure to appeal to many of my readers. One of Steampunk’s amazing aspects is its staunch resistance to an overarching definition. Steampunk means a lot of different things to a lot of differently minded people. Because that is the case, and the dedication of many in the community to embrace both Steam and Punk, there’s room for pretty much anyone in Steampunk.

This was not the case back in the historical era that forms the factual backbone for our future that never was. People who failed to conform to the expectations their rigid society were ostracized and persecuted. Gender norms especially were tightly controlled, including a strict code of dress for both (meaning, only two) sexes.

But there were people who aimed to dismantle that structure. Bold, brave women dared to defy convention and bend how society perceived them by slipping into a pair of trousers.

Written by Catherine Smith and Cynthia Greig, this book is a visual exploration of those women and their unique wardrobes from the 1850’s to the 1920’s. The reasons for wearing pants are many and complex, and makes for some interesting reading. Retronauts of all persuasions will likely enjoy this book’s documentation of gender and dress. You can pick up a copy from Amazon.