The book titled Sources of the Making of the West we get a look inside one of Sarah Stickney Ellis’s book titled Women of England. This document contains a passage from her book and gives us an insight of what the book is going to be discussing. Sarah Stickney Ellis offered much advice to women of the nineteenth century. During this time women were expected to focus on their home and become role models for proper behaviour. Her words portray the domestic ideal that in reality, eluded man women, either by choice, or circumstance#.
Soon enough, the fight for women’s rights resulted in women gaining more prominence in society. In the early 19th century, women faced very little options after marriage. They were, almost always, subjected to taking care of their household (e.g. cleaning) and looking after their children (domestic sphere). In the years following the Revolutionary War, women were encouraged to be models of “Republican Motherhood.” With the rise of the market economy (Industrial Revolution) came the rise of the “separate spheres” concept.
The Role Women Played in the Social Reform Movements of the Antebellum Period Comprehending the lives of American women and their roles is fundamental for understanding the entire antebellum period in America. The period 1820 to 1870 in the United States was marked by a forceful and widespread debate on woman's roles and their proper vocation whether this be in the home or outside the home and becoming wage earners.This was, however, still a time in which females were encouraged to be pure, dutiful, domestic and compliant by men and the government. On the other hand, due through this, the evident truth was ignored that was that women’s roles were steadily beginning to reach outside the family and home, their were gaining confidence in themselves and their independence was growing. As female roles changed, the patriarchal and chauvinistic society that was America was beginning to be noticed, women’s rights advocates in particular became aware of the gender inequalities present in their society, chafed under these limits, and established a movement which is still present in America today. Women in early American history were assigned and in some manners even restricted to the domestic sphere of the family, women being the ‘homemaker’ made them clearly inferior to men and were never thought of as being socially equal.
In the 18th century the republican mother came into the light. This was directly linked to domestic expectations because it dealt with child rearing. Women were supposed to make sure they their children were respect citizens who did not go against the new republic. Women were commended for teaching their children to what society felt was proper (Coryell, 123-124). Domestic expectations were not just cleaning the house and cooking dinner but also taking care of the family and making sure they are happy.
Another popular daytime show was the homemaking shows. These shows covered an array of topics of homemaking issues in order to help housewives and encourage them to become interested in homemaking because millions of women left wartime employment to become full-time wives and mothers. Elain Tyler May noted in What Women Watched that as postwar women “came to accept their domestic role as the center of their identity, they sought to turn homemaking and motherhood into vocations” (Chapter 6, pg. 134). The homemaking shows’ popularity continued to increase in which in response home economic began to become popular during this period and home economists across the country embraced television as a powerful new teaching tool.
In his novels, Charles Dickens depicted a wide range of female characters, both in terms of their social class and their various moral strengths and weaknesses. He wrote during the Victorian era when women were expected to be wives and mothers whose primary duty was to manage the household and perform domestic tasks. The ideal Victorian woman was also admired as having pure values and capable of self-sacrifice. In David Copperfield, the main protagonist suffers a lot during his childhood, but is able to obtain comfort through his interpersonal relationships with different women, two of whom are Dora Spenlow and Agnes Wickfield. David marries both of these women, and ironically, they are complete opposites of one another.
The Education of Nineteenth Century Women Artists The formal education of women artists in the United States has taken quite a long journey. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that the workings of a recognized education for these women finally appeared. Two of the most famous and elite schools of art that accepted, and still accept, women pupils are the Philadelphia School of Design for Women and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (the PAFA). Up until the early nineteenth century, women were mostly taught what is now called a “fashionable education” (Philadelphia School of Design for Women 5). Their mothers raised them to be proper, young ladies and expert housekeepers in expectation of marriage.
“The Satisfactions of Housewifery and Motherhood” was an interesting and informative article of what life was like when living in the shoes of a housewife in 1977. That was a time when women were going off to work in order to help support their families due to The Women’s Rights Movement. Society frowned upon those women who remained a housewife. They were viewed as blood sucking leaches living off their husbands. Terry Hekker believed that she would be one of the last housewives before their extinction.
During the 1960’s women wanted to define their own identities in society, whether that is of a housewife role, establishing a career or both. This identity push into American society created the Women’s Liberation Movement for a majority of women within the 60’s. During this period several women stood out as activists to establish safeguards against discrimination on the bases of sex; Betty Fridan, Carol Hanisch and Gloria Steinam. Each activist clearly demonstrated in their tone and message within their articles, books and speeches how to achieve the overall goal to cease the myth that women were fulfilled in their role as housewives. This document will reflect an analysis of sources that substantiates that women wanted to define their own identities within our society and on issues and concerns for family values, women’s freedom to choice, and social change.