Blog - Dangerous Women: Nelly Bly - A dangerous woman gone mad (blog post as part of the 'Dangerous Women Project')

Date

2017

Authors

Orr, Ashley

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The Dangerous Women Project

Abstract

Nellie Bly’s career as a stunt journalist in the late-nineteenth century provided the reading public of America with a first-hand insight into the lives of women whose stories might otherwise have remained invisible. Born Elizabeth Jane Cochran in 1864, she adopted the pen name Nellie Bly in 1885 when she began her career as a journalist. In this same year, the Pittsburgh Dispatch published an advice column in response to the plight of a father of five unmarried daughters, in which reporter Erasmus Wilson lamented the lax parenting which failed to prepare women for their roles as wives and mothers. Such views align Wilson with the Victorian-era ideology of separate spheres — proponents of which clutched to Darwinian evolutionary theory to legitimise women’s confinement in the home. Despite this scientific veneer it was, in fact, little more than a convenient way to neutralise the threat the feminist movement posed to the patriarchal order.

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Blog post

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Access Statement

Open Access via publisher website

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Restricted until

2099-12-31