Women in Society
Women's suffrage and early strains of the feminist movement began in the 1880s. One example of the increased social awareness of women is available with a search on vote and the listing of a song, "Shall women vote." Another example is "Daughters of Freedom! The Ballot be yours" which includes an audio clip recorded by the Music for the Nation Singers from the section, "In Performance--Choral Works from the Collection".
Women weren't yet represented by the ballot but they were an integral part of the city life depicted by the songwriters. For example, "Riding on the Elevated Railroad" exclaims,
"Now, here's a woman washin' clothes, with all her might and main;
and there's a pretty sewing girl who glances at the train."
The two women may be different in a number of ways but both are at work in the busy city.