18th Century Gender Essay

Good Essays
The eighteenth century marks the period of transformation from seventeen century pre-industrialization and the emergence of nineteen-century capitalism and modernization in Europe. During the rise of the industrial revolution and the eighteenth century came the conception of the classification of gender and sex into two distinct biological characterizations pertaining to masculinity and femininity, commonly known today as the gender binary. The establishment of gender and “the modern system of gender difference” is the basis of social, cultural and political patterns within a certain societal group and the roles or expectations that society has assigned to that specific gender. Authors of Gender in 18th century England Hannah Barker and Elaine…show more content…
As progress in 18th century Europe began to develop so too emerged and was quickly popularized, common “points of assembly, coffee-houses, promenades, and pleasure gardens.” Consequently this headed to a most pivotal societal change in Europe, as the “two worlds of public and private” became unclear; leading to an increase in social interactions and a newfound importance on the approbation of one’s public image and the perceptions of society. (Barker 59) This gave way to the establishment of firm gender roles, and more specifically the strictly sex-based stereotypes and prejudices against eighteenth century gender expected responsibilities, roles, and representations. Men, along with women, encountered countless gender expectations regarding ideals surrounding masculinity and femininity in culture; that is, acquiring a dominant role and like traits if they are men, and contrastingly a submissive and feeble role if they are women. Most evident were the traditional roles expected in the household, the sexual division of labor, and common laws regulating and preventing female ownership and…show more content…
(McKeon 295) Therefore, "the foregoing evidence suggests that the form of modern patriarchy depends upon the structural separation of the genders: that the emergence of modern patriarchy is coextensive with the emergence of gender difference, which is therefore historically specific to the modern era (McKeon 300). McKeon argues that the encompassing general sexual, cultural, and political are subject to the coinciding levels of experience, class, and gender; using the analogy to compare gender to a web, in that differing lifestyles originate from through out the essay. In summation McKeon sums up his statement by arguing that the modern systems of gender binaries “is therefore a determinant regime in that it establishes the outer limits of our experience, and it is under the aegis of difference that we formulate our efforts to go beyond it" (McKeon
Get Access