During the late 1600’s, women were viewed as though they we’re property of men. Through out childhood their fathers control them, and once given to a man for marriage, her husband claims ownership over her. However, a woman’s standing in society and marriage has changed drastically over the last 400 years. When viewing ones identity, work and tolerance to violence today and compare it to that of the life of a women described in Lady Mary Chudleigh’s poem to the ladies, it can be seen that women have more independence and freedom in marriage today than they ever did before.
In society today, when a marriage is started, a women has the choice to take the name of her husband or not. With an easy signature on a paper, she can state whether she wants to give her name away for that of her husbands. But for Lady Mary Chudleigh, she got her name taken from her and was forced to take another, her husbands. “And man by law supreme has made,” a way for a man to prove his wife belongs to him.
Another way a man proved he was superior than his wife, was by leaving her home to care for the children, cook the dinner and clean the house. Lady Chudleigh shows us a clear image of this when she states “wife and servant are the dame, but only differ in the name.” Today it is just as common to see a woman at work than it is to see a man. Both work towards a steady income, unlike Lady Chudleigh, who is forced to stay at home while the man does the work.
One of the major contrasts we can see between the Life of Lady Chudleigh, where “all that’s kind is laid aside”, and that of a modern day woman is her tolerance of violence. Today, A rule of thumb is a principle with broad application that is not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation. But for Lady Chudleigh, it was the law that shows how thick of a stick a man was aloud to use to beat his wife. In her time, her husband was aloud to beat her until she was blue, and law permitted it. But today, if a man ever lays a hand on his wife, he can and will be prosecuted by a court of law.
As you can see, the difference between the life of Lady Mary Chudleigh and the life of a woman today is very different. Today women can speak, defend and honor themselves at the same rank of a man, without hesitation. We are allowed independence that was never tolerated before.