How Steampunk Screws With Victorian Gender Norms | Bitch Media
This is an amazing article that explores women in Steampunk as objects, authors and more.
Here is just a tidbit, but definitely check out the real article, it is a good read.
Like so much current pop culture revolving around the Victorian and Edwardian periods, steampunk culture does tap into this potentially-retrograde nostalgia. It also participates in a broader obsession with The Fancy Clothes of the Past, a loving and often DIY aesthetic that involves fraught class dynamics as well as gender ones. As many commentators—including Stock—mention, women in the community often struggle against objectification, too often regarded as just a pleasing set of breasts heaving over corsets rather than as actual fans and creators.
Two major features of steampunk push hard against the movement’s gender-retrograde currents. First, steampunk mixes and matches. Men in the community wear corsets, too. Lisa Hager, that delightfully geeky English professor, likes to cosplay steampunk Dorian Grey. Women in big dresses and elaborate Victorian-inspired undergarments also tote stylized brass weaponry, gears and cogs, and goggles (for flying in dirigibles, of course). In Gail Carriger’s bestselling Parasol Protectorate series, readers find a flamboyant vampire who dresses himself and his home absolutely to the nines, a scientist and inventor who wears impeccably-tailored men’s clothes and stashes anti-supernatural weapons all over her person, and (as protagonist) a badass soulless woman who likes tea, adventure, reading scientific papers, and being dominated sexually by her werewolf husband.