Atlanta seemed to be a city of change and self-exploration for many women. After the civil war, women’s roles began to change. The focus began to shift away from home duties, allowing women’s lives to move outside of the home. They began to form women’s groups, which allowed them an opportunity to express their opinions on several public issues.
The invention of first the bicycle and later the streetcar and automobile greatly expanded a woman’s freedom. It gave them a way to attend their group meetings and socialize with other women. This freedom to travel was accompanied by a great boom in mass consumption. Department stores were developed and were a place where women could buy everything they needed or wanted.
Atlanta also saw women begin to break into the work force. Their jobs were stereotyped based on gender – women did do hard labor, but instead they participated in typewriting catalogues, or selling perfume behind counters in department stores. By having their own income, it allows them a small amount of independence from their husbands.
Women in Atlanta changed a lot between reconstruction and the early twentieth century. They began to have more freedom and independence, yet experienced little change in political power as they were still refused the right to vote.