In today’s discussion on the concept of the ‘new woman’ in The Yellow Book, I found the female representation in Ella D’Arcy‘s, “At Twickenham,” quite astonishing, yet remarkably recognizable. The passiveness in Minnie’s and Loetitia’s character and their only concern being able to get married is not surprising at all for the social norms of the 19th century. In fact, the idea of a new woman was created to break these norms, yet 200 years later, these concerns are still prevalent in today’s life.
The very fact that women still have to go out of our way to ask for basic rights or explain to people the definition of feminism, goes to show the lack of progressiveness in regards to women’s positions and roles in society. Loetitia, being a 19th-century woman and lacking interest in anything except her defined roles is not surprising at all because feminism was a new concept, what is really surprising and disturbing is the fact that even today a lot of Loetitias and Minnies are living amongst us. The idea of the new woman arose from a piece of popular literature in the 19th century, The Yellow Book, and I strongly believe many more literary works need to be produced and need to be globalized today in order to break these illogical expectations, norms, practices-whatever they may be called from women’s lives.