In fact, the social perspective towards women was based on submission and passivity. As time progresses, Victorian scenario of men’s empowerment over women has changed and equity between sexes as a human right has gained significance. However, remaining sexist attitudes within contemporary societies could be taken as a reflection of sexism towards womanhood existent in Victorian Era. First of all, both the psychological phenomenon of the double standards and a high level of sexual repression in our societies catch the attention. Indeed, those concepts of sexual behavior have different views according to the historical context.
To what extent does Lady Windermere’s Fan offer serious criticism of contemporary social and sexual conventions? In Lady Windermere’s Fan, Oscar Wilde bitingly satirizes and ridicules the morals of Victorian London High Society and focuses particularly on the aspects of marriage. The play is a juxtaposition both comical and serious subject matters. Wilde examines sexual morality and gender politics throughout the play, especially through both of the characters of Cecil Graham, a typical caricature of the upper class and Mrs Erlynne, a lost character who is no longer accepted into society due to her reputation. Wilde criticizes the society he lives in during the time he wrote the play and uses characters to emphasize the inequalities of double standards mainly between the gender roles and how London High Society during that particular era was hard to get in to but easy to become an outcast.
Sexual Violence and the Victorian Era: Oppressive Social Forces in Robert Browning’s Printable Version By Christine Utz Robert Browning’s poem “Porphyria’s Lover” is a social representation of the Victorian era, which supported the creation of dominant and sexually abusive men. During the nineteenth century, Victorian ideals determined the guidelines for social etiquette. A traditional regime of patriarchy flourished under the strict gender stratifications of the time period. However, tensions grew between the sexes in both the political and domestic realms and gender violence surfaced in response to the heightened conflicts. Robert Browning was born into this conservative time period, but was able to employ expressive freedom through literature.
It is thought that in a patriarchal society domestic violence against a woman by a man is inevitable as men like to prove their control. Radical feminists believe that for patriarchy to be abolished, which it should, then women must separate themselves from men, for example, they suggest ‘political lesbianism’ as to have heterosexual relationships it involves ‘sleeping with the enemy’, this male dominance over woman may be the reason there is an increase of same- sex and matriarchal families as men are no longer apart of the family structure. There is proof that this theory is based on truth as men and women are not equal, for example, men get higher wages in several jobs however, there is also issues other feminists and theorists have which is that females can also be abusive to the people surrounding them and it ignores the other factors for violence such as financial stress or mental health problems therefore domestic violence is not necessarily a way of gaining control. Marxists Feminists argue that men are not the main cause of women’s suppression but rather that capitalism is as it uses women to perform the jobs and services they need. This is because women as said to a ‘reserve army’ of cheap labour as they are taken on when extra workers or needed and then
To completely change tradition would result in chaos as he even foreshadows the downfall of the newly installed French government. To change the views of women in society, Wollstonecraft asserts that women should be properly educated as she states that “a little learning is required to support the character of gentleman…But in the education of women, the cultivation of the understanding is always subordinate to the acquirement of some corporeal accomplishment” (Wollstonecraft, 22). Once women are well educated, Wollstonecraft uses the word “friend” to describe the relationship between the husband and wife (Wollstonecraft, 28). The use of the word friend not only suggests social equality but, more importantly, intellectual equality. Traditionally, women have always been seen as entirely devoted to the domestic sphere of the family which over the years have
This is what Wilde’s play pokes holes at through his use of satire. The question he raises is, essentially what do we marry for? To give us a bit of context, rewinding back into the Victorian era, it was really not that uncommon for people to marry solely for financial reasons. While this was the main reason for marriage, it also happened due to a sense of social obligation. People didn’t marry because they were in love.
This reflects the patriarchal society at the time. Therefore, Browning uses literary techniques to reflect and challenge the accepted gender roles in society during the Victorian Era. Similarly, this concept is also explored in “The Professor”. The narrator, William Crimsworth’s condescending tone when describing women, “their dresses were pleasing enough to the eye but their conversation was meaningless”, portrays how he believed they were only physically attractive. He considered them inferior in terms of their intellectual capacities.
So is marriage really a result of love or can it be possible that it is simply just a business contract? Marriage during the Victorian Era, for the Aristocrats that is, required intense interrogation of the potential husbands before any consideration was made. It was viewed as a way to better one’s social status. In order to do that, a proper husband required a good and steady income as well as some kind of title. No aristocrat wanted to marry below themselves.
It seems as if women are plentiful and men are rare. The man has freedom and the option to choose any girl that he wants, while the women are desperate and fight for whichever man they can get. Jane Austen points this out and shows how dependent the woman is on a man in her English society. This dependence is viewed as a necessary part of upper class England by most and was not criticized. If Jane Austen had written a book simply about English society, these sentiments would not have showed up.
By depicting a man like Henchard, who goes from being an obsessive power seeker to one who is, in a sense, "unmanned," Hardy shows readers the male identity which he tends to favor. The state of the economy and the political events of the 1880s and 1890s were unstable, and in their public roles, men began to feel gradually overwhelmed. Their personal lives were even more chaotic, as women began to challenge "old ideas" with their new, feminist ones. The "Woman Question" was ubiquitous, and women were gradually given rights that they never before had; the Married Women's Property Act, two Matrimonial Causes Acts, and the Maintenance of Wives Act, were three laws which allowed for more equality in marriage. The introduction of birth control literature also significantly changed women's attitudes toward their sexuality and matrimonial duties.