The 1910 film Looking Forward, directed by Theodore Marston, imagines a crazy dystopia where women rule the world. Because, as this film accurately predicted, women naturally became a political majority after getting the vote.
The description below of Looking Forward is excerpted from Eric Dewberry's paper, "A Happy Medium: Women's Suffrage Portrayals in Thanhouser Films, 1910-16." [pdf]
The comedy Looking Forward (1910) centers around Jack Goodwin, a chemistry student who discovers a liquid compound which allows people to fall asleep for a determinate period of time without the pitfalls of aging. One day, Jack drinks the potion and wakes up in the year 2010. In addition to the marvels of futuristic “rapid transit facilities,” Jack is shocked to discover that men are in the social and political minority, and do not have the right to vote. In an attempt to “restore order,” Jack becomes a ‘suffragehim’ and is sent to jail for his activities. The female mayor of the city falls in love with Jack and offers to free him from prison if he will marry her. Jack wishes to restore “the rights of men,” however, and refuses to leave prison and accept the proposal unless the mayor signs a decree giving men their liberty. Upon signing, the end of the film shows Jack correcting the bride during the wedding ceremony, leading the Mayor down the aisle instead of vice versa and transferring the veil from his head to her head.
The image above is from the January 30, 1911 Centralia Daily Chronicle (Centralia, WA).
Previously on Paleo-Future:
- Women of the Year 2011 (1911)
- Courtship in the Year 2015 (1915)
- The Air-Ship or One Hundred Years Hence (1908)
- The Air Ship: A Musical Farce Comedy (1898)