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Women's Role In Society In The 1800s - Essay Example

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This is "Women's Role In Society In The 1800s History Essay". During the 1800s, women were confined to their homes with their main responsibility of performing domestic duties, taking care of children, and attending to their husbands. …
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Download file to see previous pages The functions of women during this era were to give birth, take care of the young ones, and be very submissive to their husbands. Women were not treated or even considered equals to their men counterparts. Men controlled all aspects of the lives of women. During their early lives, their fathers had this control, and once they got married, their spouses took over this control. By looking at the women's role in society in the 1800s history essay, we will understand how the female gender has evolved over the years and has become more aware of their rights and other responsibilities. The main purpose of a woman during this era was to get married, have children, and take care of the husbands and children throughout her life. Women who were not married were looked down on and discriminated by society. A woman could own property, but once she got married, the right of ownership was immediately transferred to her husband. Husbands had the right to access everything that belonged to their wives, including their bodies (Wayne, 2007, p.17). For women in this era, marriage was a commitment for a lifetime. Divorced was not encouraged in society. Women were supposed to stay with their husbands, irrespective of the condition of marriage (Wayne, 2007, p.5).  This condition meant that they had low self-esteem, did not have any freedom, and they did not have any hope of ever attaining recognition from society. Women Activities in the 1800s During this era, women were not allowed to take part in any activity other than taking care of their families. The men were the sole breadwinners of their families. Women were very dependent on men because their only source of being economically stable was marrying a financially stable man. If a man died, a woman would be left with no other income except her man's savings or opt to be married again. The society thought of women as sexual beings, with no emotions or life to call their own (Wayne, 2007, p.17). Emergence of Women Rights During the late 1800s, women began challenging the norm through women movements, which became very popular. Women made baby steps in challenging the traditional, economic, social, and political rules that had prevented them from exercising their rights since time immemorial, which was a starting point that saw their roles reconsidered in the society. Women have always had fewer opportunities, legal rights, work opportunities, and representation compared to males. Being a mother and wife was considered a woman's major profession. However, towards the end of the nineteenth century, most women had obtained the right to participate in civic duties, including voting; they had fought for their rights to seek education. They were in professions that were previously reserved for men. Marriage was still an essential aspect of society. Women were still expected to be obedient, humble, and submissive to have a successful marriage. Education was still a disputable topic, and it was among the first topics, which motivated women to fight for their rights. However, even after protests, not a single woman could come up with a basis for proving that there should be an equal right to schooling between boys and girls. Girls who had rich parents could access a decent education. They were, however, perceived as being sexually unattractive; hence, it was a bit of a challenge for them to get married. Women Rights Movements At school, the only subjects taught to women included language, reading, and writing. They were also offered other courses that centered on making the home and their men comfortable, including midwifery, cooking, knitting, and baking. Women began forming the women rights movements, which aimed at protesting against slavery and dictatorship from men. These movements eventually bore fruits because they led to the amendment of the constitution and led to the end of slavery. Women could now air out their views on important matters without fear. It was a great achievement for them. Women Independence During the mid-1800s, women had had enough and did not want oppression anymore. They wanted equality and, as a result, fought for equal education rights and did religion activism. They, however, faced opposition from both men and women. Men did not want to hear anything regarding women's independence, while some women were so absorbed in the traditional ways of living and completely opposed women independence. Women, however, received full support from the church, which had its own agenda. Women became successful in their quest for freedom, and for the first time, men felt threatened by women dominance. Female Professions Females began performing other duties outside the confinement of their homes, which involved cooking, nursing, educating for a pay. Women could only be teachers, nurses, and secretaries (Wayne, 2007, p.78). Females could only work while single. After marriage, they took up the roles of being a wife and mother and taking care of their children and husbands. A homemaker had to be multitalented because most of the items at home were homemade (Wayne, 2007, p.77). Expansion of Employment Opportunities for Women During the industrial revolution, employment opportunities for the female gender role. Many women worked in new industries and filled in many vacant positions. There was the expansion of the public school management, and ultimately, females employed as teachers (Wayne, 2007, p.86). Hospitals were restructured in the 1850s, and the nursing career became a highly regarded career. The civil war led to the employment of females in government offices and other offices.  Although men initially held these positions, they fell vacant when the men went to participate in the civil war. After the civil war, women did not step down from these positions. They continued working because they have proved to themselves and the men that they could work and do an excellent job while at it (Wayne, 2007, p.94). One other factor that greatly influenced females into remaining in employment was the invention of the typewriter. The research found out that the females were better typists, was fast, and made very few errors compared to men. Therefore, they were employed all over as typists and sales clerks.  This was an excellent achievement for the female rights movements.  By the end of 1870, the learning prospects for females had significantly improved. There was an emergence of new schools and colleges, which admitted girls to pursue advanced courses. For the first time in history, females had a career choice that did not just involve taking care of children and spouses. By the end of 1880, there was a surge in the number of females admitted to schools. The female gender made up to one-third of the entire school-going population in the United States. This enabled them to achieve their dreams and break all barriers, which seemed impossible. During this time, females also got more legal rights attributable to continuous fighting for those rights and enactment of acts. The most famous act of this time was the property act, which allowed females in marriage to have authority over their property. Her property was hers and did not belong to her spouse. Females had to fight tirelessly to enjoy the rights that are considered fundamental in modern-day such as the right to education, own property, and pursue a career. The modern-day female should be entirely grateful to the 1800s females who relentlessly fought against oppression and discrimination. Based on the freedoms and rights that the modern females enjoy, it is clear that the 1800s fights for freedom were worth the struggle.       ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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