Petticoats and Prejudice

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As students sit in class and look up at their female professors they do not think of all of the women who sacrificed themselves for the opportunity for other women to be seen as societal equals. Each of us should place ourselves in the birthplace of the women's movement that Constance Backhouse depicted in her book Petticoats and Prejudice. After reading this book all man ought to be ashamed of being part of the heritage that contributed to the hardships that were forced upon women of the 19th century. The misfortunes that Zoé Mignault, Amelia Hogle, Mary Hunt, Ellen Rogers, Emily Howard Stowe, Euphemia Rabbitt, and Clara Brett had throughout their lives are something that nobody would want to experience themselves.

When looking back at the developing countries of the nineteenth century, it is quite simple to see that Canada was one of the most advance countries in the world. Eventhough this free and democratic country advanced itself in the areas of equality throughout the years; there will forever be inequalities for some, and struggles for many. Petticoats and Prejudice gives clear and precise examples of the hardships women fought through in the 1800s. The primary focus of the book was to give a manifest and latent demonstration of how the biased attitudes of society reflected the legal system, and vice versa. There were several issues that were discussed in the book, including abortion, infanticide, sexual assault, marriage, divorce, separation, child custody, seduction, rape, prostitution and labour legislation. Very early in the book it was made quite evident the struggles that women had encountered in their tough lives. It demonstrated their fight for the rights and privileges that many women of the world so commonly enjoy.

The first chapter in the book dealing with marriage demonstrates a clear and precise attitude towards women and their social standings in society. The Zoé Mignault case was a perfect example of how the patriarchal...
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