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Blooming Suffragist

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Before bloomers, women uncomfortably wore Victorian clothing that was meant to maintain a dignified appearance. This clothing hid as much skin as possible and was tough to maneuver in. Pioneered by Elizabeth Smith Miller, bloomers were pant-like leg coverings for underneath shorter skirts; God forbid they show any of themselves.
Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894) popularized them to the point where her name became synonymous with the fashion. Her influence in the women’s suffragist goings-on in Seneca Falls, NY added to the sticking power of the bloomers. Amelia took a firm position liberalizing female dress.
In Seneca Falls, Amelia wrote for her own paper, The Lily. This paper and her husband’s led her to introducing Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to one another.


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