Today I finally did what I’d been meaning to do for a while: I finished reading the 1900 part of my Galveston ghost story and, freshly reacquainted with the characters and their woes, I sat down and wrote a little over a thousand words! I’m still worried about loose ends, still worried about committing some historical blunder, still worried about not being consistent with the characters or the story, but at least I’m slowly moving forward! Next week I plan to go to the Island to do more research.

For now, though, it feels like a breakthrough that I’m once again feeling closer to Suzanne, my 1900 heroine, who, constricted by the times and society she lived in, was having a hard time carving out a little bit of freedom for herself. I imagine her strapped in her corset, nothing short of a torture device, and wonder how the poor girl is supposed to make any decisions about her life at all when she can barely breathe. Then again, society back then didn’t want Suzanne to truly make her own decisions.

I suppose compared to her problems, my life seems easy, full of possibilities. Though I still feel that even in our day and age women face so many constrictions, that social pressures are different for us, and that there’s still a lot of sexism in our world, especially when it comes to work (let’s not forget there’s still no equal pay for women in 2019!), financial independence, and family life. Luckily I’m blissfully single, will soon work for myself – here’s hoping I get to run payroll without a glitch tomorrow! – and my supervisor, perched on top of the stairs, is more interested in dog treats than anything else. Perhaps I have, in my own way, escaped various layers of oppression, and yes, of course, women have gained so many rights since 1900, but still, in today’s day and age, I still find us to be often constrained. It’s as if society is still not comfortable with us using our full lung capacity, or being too comfortable in our own bodies.

1 Comment

  1. I think those corsets were a constraint on all sorts of “breathing” for women in those times. Probably designed by a man lol! Have fun with your research.

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