1899 Boxing Club for Women & Girls

Sometimes I can’t believe the things I dig up.

This illustration is from the Edwardian era when women’s suffrage was faced with brutal resistance. Women who wanted to vote got punched and kicked, policemen force-fed women prisoners on hunger strike, and so on.

“We have not yet made ourselves a match for the police, and we have got to do it. The police know jiu-jitsu. I advise you to learn jiu-jitsu. Women should practice it as well as men. Don’t come to meetings without sticks in future, men and women alike. It is worthwhile really striking. It is no use pretending. We have got to fight.”  Sylvia Pankhurst, NYT, 1913

You probably want to start a hullabaloo now, because 1913 isn’t the Victorian era, and I did promise Victorian things to you, didn’t I?

*quickly whips out 1890s newspaper clipping*

The Boston Commercial, 1899

So far, I stumbled across Victorian lady physicians with short hair, women and girls in boxing and Bartitsu clubs, women in knickerbockers riding their bicycles, and women living with men months before they are married (if they ever married at all).
Obviously, the average – and very proper – Victorian wasn’t the only character populating that era. And I’ll tell you about them soon.

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