Glenda Riley's The Female Frontier

Superior Essays
The novel The Female Frontier: A Comparative View of Women on the Prairie and the Plains was written by Glenda Riley. Riley was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1938 and gained her Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1968. After she received her Ph.D. she went on to acquire he first teaching position at Northern Iowa University, where she held this position for 21 years. She also founded the University of Northern Iowa’s Women’s Studies Program. This wide range of knowledge on this particular subject, should give the reader a sigh of relief that the author has the knowledge and academic background to write this book. She also wrote a number of books on the lives of women, these include: The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley, Divorce, Confronting Race: …show more content…
The women in Prairie for most part had the life that was stated above and Riley states the census taken at the time stated that the women in the Prairie fell in the category “Not Gainfully Employed”. She points out that this is false, even though that men had an easier time finding work than women. For example, Men would usually go in the path of the jobs that usually were made for the hands of men and the women would go to the jobs that were for women. There were a few women that would follow the path of the men and try their hands in jobs that were tended for men, but most women of the Prairie would just stay in the domestic setting. The Women of the Plains had an easier time finding work, but they found out the same path that the women of the Prairie went through they went through. The Plainswomen usually did the opposite the men did, in example that Riley makes is if they had Gold deposits in “Dakota Territory lured men to become miners, while the women who accompanied or joined them were miner’s wives and daughters, teachers, milliners and prostitutes.” She shows it clear in this example that women had a smaller list to choose from than the men and these jobs were just made for them. In the final chapters Riley writes about the Participation that the women in the Prairie and Plains had in the Community. Some examples that she used was …show more content…
She states this position the best when she quotes a letter written by Julia McCormick of Missouri, who wrote this letter to her father after he left to fight in the Civil War. She states, “Times are very hard harder than I ever seen them you cannot get any money at all and nothing to only fighting plenty of that to do as we live on the line of Missouri.” You can hear the fear in her voice, on how she was going to live. It kind of goes over our head on what the women did after the men left for war, the answer is that they did the men’s work on top of their own work taking care of the household. She shows here clear as day on how she is answering her thesis, if it wasn’t for the women during the Civil War, America wouldn’t be same place it is

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