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Women of the Year 2011 (1911)

The March 18, 1911 Penny Illustrated Paper (London, England) ran a piece by J.C. Bristow-Noble titled, "Woman of the Future," in which he makes predictions about the woman of 2011.

Bristow-Noble writes that contrary to what Bernard Shaw says, women will not abandon the skirt or the petticoat because, "I tell you in confidence as many husbands have been snared by a lace frill as by a pretty face." In other words, ugly women need to be fashionable (read: slutty?) if they want any shot at snagging a husband.

The author also writes that women, though they will get the "accursed vote," will not be any smarter a hundred years hence:

Again, rise, please, from your tomb a hundred years hence, and perhaps you will be astounded to find woman not a jot cleverer than her great-grandmother was. Indeed, she will not have the amount of brains that the present-day woman can boast.

The author then goes on to talk about the innate desire for every woman to marry and look after the kids. He does, however, say "most of them" and "many women" which to me seems downright progressive for the time.

The little typist sitting on her stool vows that she has no desire to marry -- indeed, that she loathes men, and is as happy as the day is long. Gentle reader, show some of them a picture of a little villa with a bit of ivy crawling up the wall out Brixton way, containing a cradle to rock, a potato to peel, and a little "general" to howl at. They will fall at your feet and offer up their prayers to you if you will give them that little kingdom; and thus it will be with many women through all time. A woman is a woman, and, try how she may, she cannot escape from herself.

Bristow-Noble concludes by stating that, "A hundred years hence, the fashionable age at which to marry will be between forty and fifty," though it seems unclear given the context if he's talking about men or women.

1911 March 18 Woman of the Future-1

Previously on Paleo-Future:


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Reader Comments (4)

Look at today's bimbos like Paris Hilton and he may not have been that far off.

June 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

The men/women rate in 1911 was a bit in women' favor so "snagging a husband" could have been a problem back then; nowadays the balance is equilibrated so "ugly women" doesn't have to be slutty (read: fashionable) any more.

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterflorist Phoenix AZ

I would agree with George, Parish Hilton is a strong contendar here.

August 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwomens shirts

In a way he is both right and wrong as what has happened these days is women are not acting like there all the same. Some have taken to dressing up more then women would have got away with in 1911 as in those times they thought they were well dressed but most clothes were disgusting in the aim to be modest. Infact the lower legs were probably the only area women could show. A lot of women these days are going back to being typical women, but also a lot arnt. There are lots of women who do not want to dress up in complicated fashions and choose simpler more unisex styles. I do get the impression that his views of his own era were limited to the richer population of his time as in 1911 lots of women were struggling to have the money to eat. My grandmothers time was in the 1940's and in her time they did not have many clothes, most working class people only got lots of clothes in the 60's when they became cheeper to make. I dont know what he would do if he came back and saw all these women wearing trousers and using computers. Young girls in schools now will be smarter then there grandmothers as they learn different things these days.

March 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlindsey spilman

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