A woman's nature : attitudes and identities of the bird hat debate at the turn of the 20th Century
Haverford College. Department of History
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, a group of American women engaged in debate and action against the killing of birds for hats, resulting in one of the first widespread environmental movements in this country and the birth of the Audubon Society. Through an examination of the women's magazine Harper's Bazar, this thesis explores why women wore bird hats, why they decided not to wear bird hats, and the outcomes of their actions. In the steps that women took to end the slaughter of birds, and in the arguments they proposed to support these steps women sought to balance the values of beauty and aesthetics with those of nature and morality. In this issue women exploited the tenets of the domestic sphere in order to create an emotional connection to the natural world and work for environmental protection.