19th Century Attitudes Toward Women

Traditionally, women during the 19th century were expected to submit to the patriarch of the house and obediently follow his commands and the commands of society. According to Elaine Fortin, writer of “Early Nineteenth Century Attitudes Toward Women,” society’s expectations of married women included catering to their husbands by caring for the children, performing household chores, and preparing all meals so their husbands could focus all of their attention “on the matters of the world.” To broaden this definition of a wife’s duties during the 19th century, Judy Brady, an activist for women’s rights and renowned author, said women had to satisfy their husbands sexually but refrained from soliciting sex, listened to their husband’s problems but did not complain of a “wife’s duties,” were good cooks, waited hand-and-foot on their husbands and their guests, babysat the children, and more in her essay “I Want A Wife.” As an effort to overturn the stereotypical view of women and their marginalization, two waves of feminist movements were organized in order to establish “Women’s Rights.” In today’s society, women’s rights have…show more content…
For example, even though the number of women going into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic (STEM) fields has increased, they still are underrepresented in the field with men making up 76% of the STEM field jobs and women comprise a mere 24% (Beede et al. 1). In regard to women’s pay, women are underpaid when compared men; in STEM field positions, men are paid approximately 14% more than women, and, in non-STEM field positions, men are paid 21% more than women (Beede et al. 4). Moreover, since the 1950s, the number of single mothers has increased by 36% (Badger). Therefore, women find it harder to support their children when they continually get misrepresented and underpaid when going into the labor

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