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"I'd Rather Be Dancing": Wisconsin Women Moving On

"I'd Rather Be Dancing": Wisconsin Women Moving On Joan M. Jensen Joan M. Jensen Some years ago, while sitting with my aunt drinking coffee, I asked her why she left her Wisconsin farm for the city of Milwaukee. What was there to do, she asked in return. Meet a boy down at the bridge? What did she do in the city, I asked. She said she had first worked in a candy factory and roomed with the family of a young friend. The year was 1916. What did you do after work, I persisted. We went dancing, she replied, every night except Monday. Why never on Monday, I asked. Because, she responded with a smile, the dance hall was closed on Monday. Dancing is one way to transcend place and space. Migrating is another. Rural women embraced both types of mobility. In this article I explore the parallelism between work and recreation by looking closely at these two types of mobility--dancing and migration. I use the experiences of young women in central Wisconsin during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for this exploration. Recreational opportunities, in addition to the need for access to better employment, influenced the decision of rural women to migrate to urban http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies University of Nebraska Press

"I'd Rather Be Dancing": Wisconsin Women Moving On

Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies , Volume 22 (1) – Jan 4, 2001

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by Frontiers Editorial Collective.
ISSN
1536-0334
Publisher site
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Abstract

Joan M. Jensen Joan M. Jensen Some years ago, while sitting with my aunt drinking coffee, I asked her why she left her Wisconsin farm for the city of Milwaukee. What was there to do, she asked in return. Meet a boy down at the bridge? What did she do in the city, I asked. She said she had first worked in a candy factory and roomed with the family of a young friend. The year was 1916. What did you do after work, I persisted. We went dancing, she replied, every night except Monday. Why never on Monday, I asked. Because, she responded with a smile, the dance hall was closed on Monday. Dancing is one way to transcend place and space. Migrating is another. Rural women embraced both types of mobility. In this article I explore the parallelism between work and recreation by looking closely at these two types of mobility--dancing and migration. I use the experiences of young women in central Wisconsin during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for this exploration. Recreational opportunities, in addition to the need for access to better employment, influenced the decision of rural women to migrate to urban

Journal

Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jan 4, 2001

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