Women of the 18 century

Topics: Science, Mathematics, Scientific method Pages: 7 (1553 words) Published: April 21, 2014


Women of the 18 century and Today
Rodney Pittman
Grantham University

Women of the 18 century and Today
The Scientific Revolution which occurred in the years 1550 to 1700, introduced the idea that the universe and everything in it worked accordingly to the laws of nature which were discovered by means of reason. The reasoning was straying away from previous thinking which entailed that God was the creator of the universe and had complete control over individual lives. Women have always been effectively contributing in the field of science since earlier times. They made great sacrifices for the accomplishment of scientific endeavors. Women faced many challenges in getting themselves accepted in the field of science. Their effective role in science started expanding as women started working to support the financial needs of their families. In the 18 century revolution the roles of women where similar but very different from the roles of women today. During the scientific Revolution women were responsible for much of the domestic labor. The type of work included food preparation, child rearing and ensuring that the home was generally in order. The women were in charge of coordinating and producing materials that were essential part of keeping the family alive and well. This role mostly included the duties of running the farm, milking, poultry, brewing beer, and making butter. They were also expected to act as family doctors making home remedies for sickness, mending clothes, growing trees for herbs and curved various ornaments. Single moms had to work for a living in domestic services and various trades. The struggle for recognition of women in academia began long before the scientific revolution. In the mind of Martin Luther, women were an absurdity and were good for nothing. The French Renaissance writer François Rabelais believed that in creating women, nature had lost the good sense which she had displayed in the creation of all other things. Such strong views as these only made it difficult for women to share their ideas with society. For hundreds of years women were thought incapable of producing ideas or work beneficial to society and it wasn't until the introduction of the new science that this began to change. The new science was essentially materialistic and mathematical; materialistic due to the realization that the universe is composed of matter in motion and mathematical from the realization that calculation had to replace common sense as the basis for understanding the universe. Schooling for women was very limited and poor women had no opportunity to go to school. Girls were rarely permitted into grammar school. There were some female boarding schools for the wealthy, even though their objective was to create socially acceptable women rather than learned. Women during the time believed that woman's social life and morality could be endangered by too much learning, and many mothers often disapproved of their daughter’s affiliation with academics. During this time period a females education was centered on running an efficient household while many wealthy young men were given the highest opportunities to pursue an education and thus able to pursue a scientific career. Throughout history, the sciences have been dominated by men, but the scientific revolution began to open the door to women who wanted to participate in the sciences and enter into a career of their own. Despite the struggle and isolation that women scientists often felt during the scientific revolution, it was the first time women began to engage in these disciplines and the sciences. Sophie Germaine and Maria Sibylla Merian were two women who managed to achieve greatness in the fields of mathematics and the biological sciences. Despite being born into a middle class family, Maria Sibylla Merian came from a disadvantaged life. Merian lived with disease and death throughout her life. Her father was a Swiss engraver...
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