An individual’s views and concerns may alter as time progresses, in keeping with the changing values of society. Over the centuries women have been the subjects to gender discrimination and unequal treatment, however within the last 100 years this has changed. Throughout Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, written in the 1800’s. many issues are raised towards women and their role in society. In comparison Fay Weldon’s Letters to Alice, written a few centuries after, shows a clear link of how particular concerns, held by society, have altered.
The Roles of Women in East Asia and Western Europe from 1750 to 1914 Women in East Asia and Western Europe were treated in very different ways. East Asia prescribed a patriarchal social authority life while Western Europe prescribed a more liberated way of life for women. Women in East Asia and Western Europe had various similarities but they were varied and far between. Cultures and religious beliefs were what influenced social authority in these countries. In East Asia, women were subjected to a strong patriarchal authority.
“Working-class women, as much as their more wealthy counterparts, wound these commodities into their own culture based in display, self-statement, and glamour.” (Enstad, 18) Working women purchased cheap fiction known as dime novels. Women would often save up for weeks just to be able to purchase one book. Another common purchase of the working class woman was clothing. Similar to the novels, women would save up by skimping on their lunches to buy a dress from what the middle class called “slop” dress makers. These dresses were cheaper imitations of middle class fashion and would often fall apart, but the women bought them regardless.
Latin America and Western Europe were extremely different regions from 1750 to 1914 in matters of rate of industrialization, literacy rate as well as womens roles. As two diverse regions, people valued different values, however, similarities are likely to find. In Western Europe women in upper class during the specific period of time (1750-1914) were likely to be educated in an all girls school , or by a private teacher. They were expected to be well-mannered and know how to play at least one musical instrument as a symbol of superiority. They were also anticipated to marry into a good family with money, most likely arranged ahead of time by the parents.
In the 20th century, women in most nations won the right to vote, this in return increased their educational and job opportunities. Which is a good thing compared to tests that were done in the 1960s that showed that women’s scholastic achievement were higher in early grades than in high school because the teachers and families of girls did not expect them to peruse anything but being a wife and mother (wic.org). I would say that that we have come a long way from the early 20th century. Women in positions of power or women who want to work their way to a position of power still tend to have a glass ceiling over them. This is because history tells us that men hold these types of positions women are gaining and proving that they can do just as well as a man in a position of power.
Both Antony and Cleopatra and the 16th – 17th century were both at a time when the role of women in life was not valued as much as men and the principles of ruling Rome, Egypt and England in a well-ordered society were of great concern. In Shakespearean time (16th-17th century) rules and values of discrimination towards women and the way in which they were treated and presented were very much similar to the opinions and the way in which women were treated in 40-30 BC, in the time Antony and Cleopatra were set in. An example of this would be in the play of Antony and Cleopatra where Cleopatra is being described by Enobarbus (Act 2 Scene 2, Page 142): “Age cannot wither her, Nor custom stale her infinite variety. Other women cloy The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry Where most she satisfies. For vilest things Become themselves in her, that the holy priests Bless she is riggish.” Where Enobarbus is describing how all women can feed a man’s appetite and give them whatever they want or need (“The appetites they feed, but she makes me hungry”), displays how all women in the time of the play were stereotyped as an invaluable prize that could satisfy men if they were ever desired.
Married women wanted smaller families, and divorce become easier, rising from a yearly average of 800 in 1910 to 8000 in 1939. Once women could vote, many people felt that they had gained full and equal rights. But there was still a long battle ahead for equal treatment and respect both at work and at home. The struggle for full women’s rights is one of the most important events in recent British
Women wanted shorter skirts because they liked the general trend that flappers were setting. Manufacturers did everything they could to stop reducing the length of skirts but despite their efforts, women’s demands overwhelmed the clothing brands. (p. 79) Flappers wore short skirts, short sleeves, and sometimes they even wore no sleeves. The other fashion change that happened was hairstyle change. (p. 80) Young women really loved the bobbed hairstyle.
History of Women's Fashion in the Twentieth Century Upper class people dominated fashion during the period from1900 to 1909. Only rich people enjoyed high fashion because the tradition of hand craftsmanship was slow, detailed work, and it was expensive. Therefore, most people could not afford trendy clothes. Rich people controlled fashion because fashion was a symbol of social status. The formal style was extraordinary, and ladies wore many clothes--for example, chemise, corset, corset cover, drawers, a flannel petticoat, and one or more cotton petticoats.
The rise of the economy permitted the usual people to buy more elaborate dresses. It has become much easier and cheaper to sew clothing during the industrial boom of that period. [...] The women's dress was elaborate and very restricting. The dress of that time influenced how women were walking, sitting or moving their arms (Ashelford, 1996, p.42). One woman could put on a dress only with someone’s help as this was rather difficult.