Victorian England at the same time fascinates with its desire to ennoble and decorate literally everything in life and terrifies the seamy side of this strange, elegant and sentimental world. A woman there, for example, should not have been born at all. You were in for humiliation at every step, even in such an elementary thing as going to the restroom.
The history of public flush latrines, aside from the Bronze Age or antiquity, begins in 1851. At the World's Fair in London that year, a lot of interesting things were shown, but almost the biggest sensation was caused by the public toilet, which was first arranged at a major event, which - taking into account the peculiarities of only invented plumbing and the number of visitors - was easy to find due to the incessant noise, similar to Roar of Niagara Falls. During the exhibition, it was visited by 827,000 people, and at that time it was a Number with a capital C. Only three times as many lived in London at that time.
The toilet fascinated the British so much that the following year, many were opened all over the British island. True, there was a nuance: almost all the opened establishments were for men. First, it never occurred to many of the organizers that women have all the same base needs as men. Secondly, those who opened the women's toilets were immediately blamed for … supporting prostitution. Like, it is impossible to imagine that a decent lady would lift her skirts somewhere outside the house, her own or another equally decent lady.
In general, there were so many interesting representations about decent women that all the victims of Jack the Ripper, for example, were called prostitutes in the newspapers. Well, what, they were walking down the street late in the evening. However, a study of biographies showed that most of his victims … returned from the most ordinary, very far from prostitution work. After all, the working day was then irregular. And then on this false assumption from the newspapers from generation to generation, whole theories about the motives and psychological characteristics of the maniac were built.
There was another problem with public toilets. They were designed, of course, by men - after all, this is the middle of the nineteenth century - and they, with all their desire to please the ladies, had no idea what kind of operations she had to do in the toilet, and it was possible to take and ask someone in Victorian England was not presented. As a result, the establishments took little into account the size of the skirts, the way they were treated when visiting, the fact that a simpler social class lady had to carry various things herself, such as a bag and an umbrella, and put them on the floor or leave them far away from her. mirrors, she did not want her things at all. Frank complaints about all these inconveniences were also impossible.
Many opponents of women's toilets said bluntly that they give women too much freedom of movement, and who wants this for their wife? Where and why should she leave home further and for longer than her bladder can withstand? It is true, the possibilities of the bladder severely limited women, for the duration of the walks among the ladies there was a playful expression reflecting this factor, and if it was necessary to spend more than an hour outside the house (for example, go shopping or to the theater with everyone), the lady could not drink all day, just not to suffer afterwards.Dehydration was one of the many reasons Victorian ladies passed out so often.
It is not surprising that among the British ladies there were many who fully appreciated the innovation. At the same time, in the fifties, an English women's society was created, advocating "for sanitation", that is, for the availability of toilets. They published brochures, gave lectures, addressed the mayors, and from time to time they were heard. True, some of the demands of individual activists shocked the statesmen, because they, until the women's toilets were built, offered to allow ladies to visit the men's ones. What a debauchery!
It did not even occur to statesmen that the English lady had nowhere to know that in men's public toilets, gentlemen, under the glances of other gentlemen, expose their shameful parts of their bodies to urinate - after all, there were no urinals in women's toilets and the shyness of the ladies was protected by almost the same booths, as in modern establishments.
The activities of women fighting for the availability of public toilets have met with mixed success. There is a known case when a model of a women's toilet was placed on one street in order to understand whether it was convenient to put it there, and the men began to deliberately bump into this model on carriages to make it clear how much it interfered.
Ultimately, the situation was reversed by two forces: suffragettes and business. The first ones in several decades managed to significantly influence public opinion, eventually finding as many supporters of their sensible ideas as opponents. In the second case, at the end of the nineteenth - the beginning of the twentieth centuries, the development of giant department stores, in which literally everything was arranged so that the lady who came would linger longer - and in the end, with a high probability, would buy more.
Naturally, the owners of department stores could not allow the lady to run away only because of an overflowing bladder. It was the same with cafes, which began to expand their audience at the expense of companies of decent women. It became much easier for the ladies to move around the city. Until now, in some Russian cities, just like more than a hundred years ago, the main public toilet in the city is the one located in the shopping center.
How the nineteenth century was unkind to a woman can be understood by learning what professions did women "choose" about 150 years ago, and what were they most often sick with? because of their work.
Popular by topic
Once upon a time Celine Dion surprised the whole world with her incredible mezzo-soprano with a range of five octaves. She is still called one of the most influential voices in pop music, and the song from "Titanic", which she performed, won the hearts of millions of viewers. But even before that Celine Dion won the heart of Rene Angelil, whom she met when she was only 12. The music producer and "talent manager", as he was called in Canada, was already 38 years old
Scandals around the ladies at the court of the Moscow tsars: the rejection of makeup and other causes of conflicts
Not only the European monarchies, the courts of the centuries ago were shaken by scandals, captured in history. The Moscow tsars and the tsarist entourage did not escape them either. And many scandalous situations men unfolded around women, and on such occasions that now seem trifling or just strange
Not all maids of honor lived exclusively under Pushkin. Many were unlucky enough to live to see the revolution. For the new society, they have become alien elements. And their fate after life in the country turned upside down, developed differently
Renaissance Careerists: How Ladies Became Spies and Abbesses, and Which Professions were Prestigious
Almost all women have worked in the past. During the Renaissance, commoners earned money for a living by working as laundresses, cooks, dishwashers, midwives, nannies, maids, tradesmen, seamstresses, and serving women. But such work was not for noble ladies. They made a career of a different kind - well, they could afford
What were the 9 former first ladies of the USSR and Russia doing after their husbands left the post of the country's leader
It is very difficult to be the spouse of the first person of the state, and not every woman can cope with this burden. In addition to the fact that certain responsibilities are imposed on the spouse of the head of state, she has to put up with the increased attention to her personality. Her biography is being studied, and for some reason the slightest flaws in her appearance are not considered indecent to be discussed in society. And after everything ends, the husband leaves the post, and his wife again goes into the shadows