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Entries in women's suffrage (4)


Looking Forward to 2010 (1910)

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)

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:



Lives of Women to Improve (1923)

Mary Garrett Bay, Chairman (yes, it read "Chairman") of the New York City League of Women Voters wrote a short piece in the February 12, 1923 Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, Connecticut) about the women of 2022.

The life of even the average woman will be broader and better. Woman's drudgery in the household will be eliminated, her car of the family will be lessened as new inventions come in and new methods of work. Women, like men, will do the tasks for which they are best fitted by their permanent gifts and training.

Politically, women will be powerful. They will share with men the real constructive work of government. Many will hold office. If there is not a woman President, the thought of one will shock no one. It will seem natural and proper to elevate women to whatever positions they have the ability to fill. There will be no woman's political party and no man's political party. The two sexes will work together harmoniously.

See also:
Thinking Men and Women Predict Problems of World Century Hence (1923)
Longer Honeymoons, Happier Wives (1923)
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years (Ladies Home Journal, 1900)
Futuristic Air Travel (circa 1900)
In the Twentieth Century (Newark Daily Advocate, 1901)


Futuristic Air Travel (circa 1900)

This painting by Harry Grant Dart is one of my favorite images of the paleo-future. According to the Library of Congress it was used as the cover for an issue of All Story magazine between 1900 and 1910.

The most revolutionary aspect of this image may be the depiction of a woman at the wheel. Women couldn't even vote in the United States until the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920.

You may recall that I created some wallpapers last week using this image, among others, which can be found here.

See also:
Paleo-Future Wallpaper
Postcards Show the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
Predictions of a 14-Year-Old (Milwaukee Excelsior, 1901)
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years (Ladies Home Journal, 1900)