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The cultural ideology of Victorian America - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: The cultural ideology of Victorian America Dancing in the 19th century was not only used as entertainment but also as a means of signifying domination. There were several dance hall cultures in dancing that showed indecency to women by the male partners…
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The cultural ideology of Victorian America
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Download file to see previous pages Some of these beliefs that placed a woman in a certain sphere that was oppressive to the working class women included purity, submissiveness, domesticity, and religiousness. Purity required that a woman was to preserve her virginity until she got married. Any woman that could not do so was seen as valueless and dirty. Submissiveness based on the fact that God made men superior to women, therefore, an ideal woman was to be submissive to her husband as a small child would be for a grown up and obey all the commands that she got from her husband. As for domesticity, a woman was considered the most important one at home as long as domestic work was concerned. She was to cook, feed, do the laundry and clean the house for her husband and children. When it came to religiousness, a religious woman was more ideal for a man compared to a smart woman. This is because they believed religion did not make a woman change and make her leave her sphere like an intelligent woman who would change and question the authority of men and authority in the society (Peiss 78). There are some factors that led to the sphere separation. First, there was industrialization fwhich brought many changes to society. The beginning of industrialization saw a shift in energy use. Men were required to leave their homes and go work in the factories. This meant that the women were left behind in their homes to attend to domestic works and take care of the families. The second contribution to the separate sphere was , biological capabilities. There was a permanent belief that there is some type of jobs that were suited for men and some for women. Women were seen as helpers to men and their duty was to serve men and please them. They were seen with a major task of reproduction and taking care of the children. Other factors that led to separate sphere where, confining of women in their own sphere by legal prohibition that were against women taking professions such as law and medicine and further forbidding women from taking higher education. Despite all these hindering factors, women found strength amongst them through the separate sphere, by reaching out to other women in solidarity, sisterhood in the same ground. The cult of domesticity was a value system that got popularity amongst the middle class and the upper class in the 19th century in the U.S and Britain. Since there was separation of public and private spheres, women’s power and status in public declined but they gained power in the private atmosphere and homes. This system had many negative effects, since women were kept from participating in market labor and their services were to be voluntary and free. It made it as a burden for the woman in case she lost her husband through death. This meant she had to start from the bottom to search for food for her and her children. It is through this value system that women were seen as better in parenting. Some of the two notable ballroom dances are Waltz dance and Polka dance. The waltz dance originated in Germany, moved to France, England then United States. In the 19th century, it was the most common couple dancing style. Waltz dance was related to the romantic nature of the 19th century. Another notable dancing was the polka dancing style, a folk dance which originated from Bohemia, passed in France, England t ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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