Hollitz Chapter 11
1. The first essay clearly shows the impact that an ideology of domesticity on women in New England in the 1830’s. The writer at first calls this time period a “paradox in the “progress” of women’s history in the United States”. During this time apparently two contradictory views on women’s relations to society clashed, unusually, those two being domesticity, which essentially limited women, giving them a “sex-specific” role that they must abide to, this mostly being present at the home with their husbands and whatever kids they may or may not have had at that time, and feminism, which essentially tried to remove this domesticity, trying to remove sex-specific limits on women’s opportunities and capacities, trying to get them an increased role in society, not be defined to the home, and not have any limits on what they could do, and most of all be equal to men. This is because in New England, women were victims who were subjects of the painful subordination that came as an add-on with marriage during this period, as well as in society. They also experienced a huge disadvantage in education and in the economy, as well as the denial of their access to official power in their own churches, and impotence in politics. Essentially, the wife at this time, was defined by her husband, and she in no way, shape, or form could have a role that was more significant than her husband, let alone even as much as her husband in the societies that were present, and that they were a part of during this time period, best demonstrated by New England in 1835. She couldn’t sue, contract, or execute a will on her own, and divorce may have been possible, but quite rare. In fact, the public life of women was just about minimal, and none of them voted. Looking back, it was actually worse then than in 1770, as thanks to universal white male suffrage that was present during this period, their roles in society became heavily conspicuous, and in the economy, their role clearly became second class. The 1830’s still was a turning point on the other hand, with factories allowing for females to be a part of their workforce, and middle-class women petitioning in order to retain rights to their property and earnings. Many pursued professions that were appropriate for them, teaching, and their entry into these systems almost looked like a takeover of sorts during this period. Secondary schools and academies prepared young women to teach multiplied, partially as a result of their growing literacy during this period. They also entered various reform movements, in order to pursue objects in their own self-interest as well as to improve their society, and they became known in some part as “moral reformers” during this period, which attacked the double standard present with sexual morality, and the victimization of prostitution. Even though the convention of 1848 in Seneca Falls is widely remembered for its impact on feminism, there was a huge impact before that in the 1830’s. However, domesticity somehow became more prominent for women, as there were authors of both genders who reiterated women’s limited role in society, and these writings essentially looked back to its traditional understanding of women’s place in society, which produced minimal results. The particularization and domestication of women during this period was very important during this period, and it clearly left it’s permanent impact on women for the future in terms of their future occupations, as well as their place in the domestic structure during that period, and the changes which would come for women during this time period. With the domestic sphere becoming more conspicuous during this time, yet the roles of women in terms of domestic influence increasing, it demonstrates the conflict arising between these two views and women’s roles in society in general during this period. 2. During this period, according to the writer, as the consequences of...
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