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Women Involved in Social Reform in the 19th Century - Essay Example

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In the paper “Women Involved in Social Reform in the 19th Century” the author tries to understand how the “Cult of True Womanhood” encouraged women in the 19th century to become involved in social reform. In what ways did this gender ideology influence the reform agenda?…
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Women Involved in Social Reform in the 19th Century
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Download file to see previous pages However, this role is not enough, as they are also required to be career oriented and ambitious. The ‘Cult of True Womanhood’ that entitled women as deities of the household enabled women to regard their self-importance, as the whole theory attached with the concept of womanhood was self-destructive. There was a strategy to make women acknowledge their role associated with their families and homes only. However, according to the concept, women were regarded morally and virtually superior to men. The concept accommodated men as creatures prone to do wrong and entitled women as the guardians of the household who not only tried to safeguard men from flawed lives, but also kept graceful nature to bear the uncertainties of their husbands. This paper discusses American women’s involvement in social reform in the 19th century and women formed a good total of American population. The ‘cult of true womanhood’ encouraged women in the 19th century to become involved in social reform by standing with men in terms of running their households and they witnessed promotion of their gender ideologies through education.
The ‘cult of true womanhood’ arrested women in their houses and assigned them the role of managing their households domestically only. “When depicted within households, women were romanticized as “Republican mothers” and cultivated companions” (Boydston, 1996). The women were required to tend to the needs of the men of their homes, their children and their families. In fulfilling their standardized roles defined as per the concept deprived of their right to work outside. However, due to economic pressure on the society, they continue to work outside for their household management. This approach of the women and their financial requirements brought men against them and they regarded working women as morally deprived and inferior to other women.
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