Publication Details

Crozier-De Rosa, S. (2015). Forward! But not too fast!. In J. Shapcott (Ed.), An Arnold Bennett Companion: A Twenty-First Century Companion (pp. 107-124). Leek, Staffordshire: Churnet Valley Books.


In 1920 Arnold Bennett wrote Our Women, sub-titled Chapters on the Sex- Discord. The nine chapters on the 'sex-discord' surveyed various aspects of relations between the sexes in the immediate post-war years, drawing on contemporary understandings about the changing position of women as it did so. The general conclusion reached by Bennett was that many changes had occurred in the era following the close of the Victorian period that he viewed as fruitful and desirable. Not least of these was a breakdown of the old wasteful gender idealisation that characterised women as helpless and dependent and men as useful and active; an idealisation that had very real consequences for many in that it dictated the extent and nature of the opportunities that were available to men and women, particularly women. Post-war British society, then, benefited from more knowledgeable, more mobile, and less inhibited middle-class women; they benefited from the creation of the modern girl.