Women's Rights in the 19th Century and Now

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  • Topic: Victorian era, Marriage, Woman
  • Pages : 2 (756 words )
  • Download(s) : 916
  • Published : December 5, 2007
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It would be a huge understatement to say that many things have changed when it comes to women's rights, positions, and roles in our society today since the 19th century. Actually, very few similarities remain. Certain family values, such as specific aspects of domesticity and performance of family duties are amongst the only similarities still present.

Victorian women had several hardships to overcome. Education, marriage, leisure, and travel amongst other things were limited and controlled. A woman was never to travel if not in the company of her parents or husband. Leisure, for example, was limited and a woman always had to look busy and find something to do. They did not have the right to vote, sue or own any property. Their bodies were viewed as temples and women were considered pure and clean. "Trifles," a play written by Susan Glaspell, is a cleverly written story about a murder and more importantly, it effectively describes the treatment of women during the early 1900s. Throughout the play, Glaspell used dialogue, which allowed us to see the demeaning view the men had for the women during the setting of the play. The men use the guns, windows and evidence in an attempt to solve the murder mystery, and women use their sewing and fruits. The women in the play end up understanding the motives of the murder and prove the men wrong for calling their worries "trifles." Victorian women had very restricted lifestyles. Most women never worked outside of their home unless they were teachers or domestic servants. They were limited to taking care of their households and sexually pleasing their husbands. Kate Chopin's "The Storm", for example, is a story of infidelity of a woman to her husband. She shares a very passionate love affair with another man and is permanently changed by her discovery of sexual nature. At the time when Chopin wrote "The Storm", sex was viewed as a chore to a woman, such as washing the dishes or scrubbing floors. Calixta's character in the...
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