Double Bondage..Puritan and Women
Being oppressed by their male counterparts, women were extremely disgruntled. As the quote explains, Anne Bradstreet’s “poetry must have been her outlet for her discontent.”
This discontent stems from the oppression of women of her time. Women in Puritan society during the dawn of the New World in the English colonies were extremely oppressed, double-teamed by both religion and men. Puritan society in New England was a society with a strong patriarchal community. Men were expected to go out and work and participate in government and religious services. Women were extremely oppressed—they were expected to stay home and raise families with many children. New England is sometimes even known as the birthplace of grandparents because it was the first time that people were consistently seeing their own children have children. Women did not participate in town meetings and were excluded from making decisions in church. In a religion-based Puritan society, the fact that women’s opinions were deemed so insignificant that they could not even weigh in on decisions in church shows how little women’s views were valued in Puritan society. Even Puritan ministers furthered male supremacy in sermons by discussing the “two halves” of humans, the immortal male half and the mortal female half. The ideas of a patriarchal society are clearly shown in the description of the two halves of humankind with women being the insignificant, mortal half. Even before they were born, Puritan women were seen with a negative connotation—the Puritans believed that woman with a male child in the womb has a rosy complexion while a woman with a female child looked pale and dead. Even the names of women in the colonies show the overbearing qualities of the men in Puritan society in the Americas. A census of the Massachusetts Bay Colony shows women having names like Silence and Be Fruitful. Parents name their children by their hopes and aspirations for that child...
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