DOI link for Conclusion
The ‘New Woman’ enters the workforce thanks to technologies that are making masculine force irrelevant. New technologies undermined the gendered division of labor that had been in place since the 1840s, in a process that Connell has traced into the twentieth century. Clerical work, which marks Reardon’s loss of masculinity and class position in New Grub Street, is represented as a liberating possibility for women in The Odd Women. The primary difference between the Victorian period and later eras was the impact of the industrialization of many forms of labor, especially in the office, which continued the ‘demasculinization’ of work that Engels lamented in the nineteenth-century factory. The aporias of Victorian intellectuals trying to come to terms with the demise of manual labor and the ‘man at work’ holds important lessons for ‘brain workers’ today. The ‘New Woman’ enters the workforce thanks to technologies that are making masculine force irrelevant.