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Excerpt from "How to get a husband"

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how to get a husband p63.jpg
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Excerpt from "How to get a husband"


How To Get A Husband
Betty Van Deventer
expectations for women


These pages are from a section of the book entitled “How To Get A Husband” by Betty Van Deventer which provided an in-depth list of duties and behaviors women were expected to follow in order to get a husband during the 1900s. In the passage, Betty Van Deventar stated, “The girl or woman who possess these qualities is a very fine human being; others who realize their importance will strive to bring out the latent fine qualities in their own selves,” (p. 62). A few of the characteristics prospective wives were supposed to have were to be clever, honest, faithful, and unquestioning of her husband. Contrastingly, women were not supposed to dress in bizarre fashion. Deventer could have been hinting that women should not be wearing pants like bloomers. Bloomers came about with dress reform and were somewhat connected to women riding bicycles because that is what women wore to ride a bike. The bloomers could have been symbolic because with riding bicycles came freedom. Because Deventer was advocating against normal fashion for women, she could have been saying that women should not have freedom and should remain reliant on men. Because women were typically financially reliant on men, marriage was seen as the ultimate goal for women, which Deventer highlighted in this passage. Females were taught this ideal from a young age which is why the women's suffrage movement was so important; it promoted more choices and freedom for women.


Emily Malloy

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MLA Citation

“Excerpt from "How to get a husband",” Student Digital Gallery, accessed April 3, 2020,