The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860
Thesis: A “true women” in the 19th Century was one who was domestic, religious, and chaste. These were virtues established by men but enforced and taught by other women. Women were also told that they were inferior to men and they should accept it and be grateful that someone just loved them. Quote: “Oh, young and lovely bride, watch well the first moments when your conflicts with his to whom God and society have given control. Reverence his wishes even when you do not his opinions.” —Caroline Gilman.
A woman is enforcing the virtues that society and men have set for women. Women should not speak out against the husband’s wishes and quietly doubt him if need be. When a woman was married she should hand over her whole life to him and be like a shadow under him, supporting him in everything he does. This is what the sole purpose of a wife is in 19th Century America.
Succinct- brief and to the point; expressed with brevity and clarity, with no wasted words. Maxim- a succinct or pithy saying that has some proven truth to it. Conjugal- relating to marriage or to husbands and wives.
Religion was an important virtue in a women’s life.
She was to raise her children and teach them religion as well. b.
Female education was predominantly religion.
Men were allowed to be unreligious b/c they cannot control themselves. d.
“Female irreligion is the most revolting feature in human character” i.
Woman named Fanny Wright was irreligious and so she was “no woman.” e.
Women are more spiritually inclined than men.
Women were supposed to be chaste.
“Death preferable to loss of innocence.”
Women were supposed to be more resistant.
“an empty vessel”
It was a terrible thing if women had sex before marriage but it was okay if men did because they can’t control themselves. e.
Women were to be innocent until marriage.
Women’s Magazines say that a...
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