Separate Spheres

Topics: Gender role, Role, Sociology Pages: 2 (424 words) Published: December 16, 2012
To begin, the ideology of separate spheres means that women and men are inherently different. This ideology was vague to the women of American society prior to the Civil War. It was clear, that women were supposed to be subordinate and that home and children were their sphere; however, women were uncertain about solidarity, in sharing their domestic role. Barbara Welter’s essay titled “The Cult of True Womanhood”, examined the ideal images of women’s domestic roles in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. (Hollitz, 239). Welters essay reveals women uniting to the feminine sphere by upholding society’s moral ideas. Women would later intimately change their boundaries between the public and private sides of life. Today, Americans are influenced by the ideology of equality in both spheres.

The ideology that men and women were put into separate spheres gave women the opportunity to create their public presence as the nineteenth century approached. Nancy F. Cott’s essay titled “The Bonds of Womanhood”, reveals how women’s decisions in the domestic realm influenced moral partnership of women and clergy. (Hollitz, 245). Cott explains how northern women found success in their sphere, and intimately changed their social roles. Women united together, and accepted the role as mother, because public emphasized that women were the teachers in the private sphere. Marli F. Weiner said, “Educating women offered a variety of advantages”, revealing that southern women developed an intimate relationship with their slaves, which represents how women shaped their social role. The women of the south educated the slaves with correct morals; it became a sisterhood of nurturing the slave society. Women’s “superior influence”, help shape the ideology of equality in both spheres. (Hollitz, 254).

Women adapted to motherhood; became the educator. The private sphere promoted this motherhood, and it allowed women to educate their children. Teaching correct morals in the private sphere...
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