Gender Roles In Latin American And The United States

1145 words - 5 pages

During the Mexican Revolution women played an important role structuring their society and elevating their status. In both Latin America and the United States, women’s roles within society changed drastically from 1850 through the 1920’s. Women from both countries strove for the same rights and privileges that were given to men. During this time both countries were facing chaotic political and social transformations.
While some women’s movements were more progressive than other, the majority of women in this time period were not focused on achieving absolute equality with men. They strove to improve their standard of living, receive a higher level of education, participate in society and, ...view middle of the document...

The Primary religion of Mexico is Catholicism; this has drastically influenced the expectations and position of women within this country. While America is predominately Christian, religion has played a comparable role in both countries. Catholicism, like Christianity, introduced and patriarchal view of the world and placed women in a subservient position to men. Due to this, they received a limited education and were expected to fulfill their duties within the home and as traditional housewife and mother. They were not expected or allowed to obtain an education that would allow them to become productive members of society. Despite this fact, they were expected to care for their home and those living within it. If something was out of place, or if a member of the household behaved in an uncouth manner, it was the woman’s responsibility.
In the 1850’s a revolution led to the reestablishment of the republic. The liberal viewpoint under the Republic allowed women more of a voice. They strove to gain access to education beyond a primary school level. While they accepted their status as the weaker sex, they did not let that view withhold them from progressing themselves, or from being an active part of the world around them. In fact, while reading the writings of Mexican women during this time and comparing them to the writings of American women from the same time; it is easy to conclude that the Mexican women had a more elevated view of their role in society and in general.

One of the most striking statements on how women view themselves at the beginning of the Republic comes from Madame Josefina Bachellery, of France letter “Advice to Young Ladies” written in 1851 makes the following statement: “We dare to do so as an expression of our admiration of the fair sex, upon whom men’s fortune often depends.” This comment implies that this woman, whose letters were published in Presente Amistoso Dedicado , believed that men depended on women. The words used within the document suggest that she believes women have a profound influence on the lives of the men around them and that a woman can shape their own destiny to some degree.
She goes on to write concerning religion and women. Madame Bachellery states that women should possess piety, chastity, restraint, punctuality, and humility, among other virtues. In addition to this she states that, “If a woman were...

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