GENDERED DOLLARS: Pin Money, Mad Money, and Changing Notions of a Woman’s Proper Place

Janice Traflet

Abstract


This essay examines the evolution in the meaning and usage of two types of special currencies: pin money and mad money. At the start of the twentieth century, both currencies were considered a woman’s money. By the end of the century, however, both pin money and mad money had lost a large measure of their original gendered connotations. By situating the evolving meanings of these currencies alongside concepts of domesticity, virtuous womanhood, and a woman’s proper place, this essay strives to illuminate the rise and fall of pin money and mad money as uniquely “women’s dollars."

 


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