By: Kristian Koeppen
Women of the 19th century
Women of the modern era might be surprised what their 19th century counterpart’s role in society might have been. Women in the 1800’s were not treated with nearly as much respect as they are nowadays. Modern day women have many advantages that women of the 1800s did not have, in the way of career opportunities, and the right to own property. But women of the modern era also have a harder time because of their definition of beautiful and increasingly complex social structures.
Women today have many career opportunities that were not open to women of the 19th century. In fact, the great majority of women were illiterate because it was assumed that they didn 't need to read if all the work they would do in life was raise children. But nowadays, many women have higher job positions then men, and many have higher educations then ever would have been conceived for a woman to achieve. A woman of the 1800’s job was to become a good wife (Fortin). That consisted of being capable of doing house work, being a capable cook, and having and raising children. Nowadays it is not uncommon for the woman of the house to be working, or even the primary source of income for her family. Stay at home dads have also become a fairly common occurrence.
Modern women today have the capability to control their own finances. Women two hundred years ago were unable to sign for a bank loan without a male consenting to co-sign (Crumrin). They were judged incapable of owning property, even to the point that any property that they brought with them into their marriage or inherited from their father was immediately transferred to the safe keeping of their husbands (Marriage). If he then turned it into cash and invested it in a business deal that went bad, the wife had no recourse to recover the money.
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