Abigail Adams was one of the first women to question male superiority and the importance of laws for women which ultimately led to establishment of Women’s Rights. For women in America life in the early 18th century was associated with domestic activities. They were required to take care of household and raise the children while men were expected to support family with food and other common needs in order to survive. Even women who belonged to the upper class and had maids to help around the house were still expected to stay at home and be by the side of their husbands when necessary. Marriages were usually based on economic partnership and cultural believes.
Women were supposed to follow the husbands command. We weren’t allowed to vote except in New Jersey. Women’s role was clear that they should focus on marriage and children. When Eliza’s father left her in charge of the plantation her neighbors were shocked (8). They were shocked that she was taking over this role because the women’s job was to simply take care their husbands and children.
“As a result of this attitude, wives seldom worked at outside jobs,” Benner stated (Benner pg.1). Some women tried to have a job out of rebelliousness or some just desperately needed a job because their husband could not maintain a well enough paying job. Women weren’t sought out to be the type person who would get a job and provide for the family. The man of the house was supposed to do that. That was the norm, the norm was that the man of the house was the one who was to protect his family, provide for his family, and be there for his family.
To ensure that people continued to believe this concept the church used this verse from the bible as proof “woman in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man.” This belief put women in a state of being mentally isolated from men. Being second-rate citizens meant that few of them received any formal education; because they lacked schooling they became intellectually isolated from anyone whom had received any type of formal education. During this time period women were beaten into submission when they failed to instantly comply with the orders any male relative gave them. Shakespeare wrote about many of these Elizabethan beliefs in his play Othello. The play centralized around the lust for one very beautiful, young girl Desdemona.
Rise of Women In between the 1820’s to 1860’s women were confined to the private sphere of every community, expected to raise children and care for their home while their husbands were off at work or partaking in social events with other men. This lifestyle was not for those who wanted to change their sphere of influence for the betterment of their family, leading to a more active role in society. Women were socially bound by an ideal known as the cult of domesticity or True Womanhood which promoted four values, piety, purity, submission, and domesticity. These values then privatized options for work, education, and reform support for women. That along with an argument that women were biologically inferior when it comes to politics and
Rudimentary Roles? Women in Colonial America After the transition from a patriarchal society in England to the more democratic society in the New World, women began to have a more important role in the lives of the new settlers. Both genders had to do their own share of labor. King James I stated that “he who will not work shall not eat.” During the busy and tough times of the early settlements, the same saying applied to the females as well. Their importance in colonial America would be shaped through the roles of maintaining household and farm order, encouraging faith and moral development, and the role of a subordinate to men.
Sarah Yoest Pederson in her paper “A Family Of A Different Feather” reiterated the importance of respecting and recognizing the various family settings in the society. Now, I have learned that irrespective of gender, relationships can be established and sustained through effective communication, being open minded and by accepting the choices of others. First, through effective communication, people can learn a lot about each other’s family composition and what they desire in their relationships realized the importance of communications at my work place. I work for two women who are romantically attached to each other. Initially, I hated seeing both of them and made up my mind not to have any interactions with them apart from our job.
The Women's Rights movement, also known as "Women's Libbers," told women not to waste their time taking care of their homes and families, and they were too smart for that. They proclaimed that women had a "choice" not to be housewives now thanks to them. They said women could be anything they wanted to be, and they would find fulfillment in jobs outside of the home. Many women seemed to want to have jobs outside of the home, leaving their children, even very young babies, in day care centers. Older children were also in day care or on their own.
Housework was a very important task and women were supposed to take great joy in it. Upper and middle class girls were taught from a young age the skills they would need in order to keep a happy, healthy, peaceful home. While the outside world and working force were definitively male, the home was considered to be a feminine place. The outside world was evil and full of sin and wrongdoing, but the home was a moral haven (MacKethan). Husbands went to work in the corrupt world of industry, so they were meant to come home, decompress, and once again become attuned with their compassionate side.