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Women's Rights During The Victorian Era

1438 words - 6 pages

Women’s Rights during the Victorian Era
The Victorian era, spurred a momentary sequence of both women and men in search of a prosperous relationship regulated by the demanding etiquettes of the Victorian Society. If these desired qualities were not in possession, a man or woman could be labeled as ‘unsuitable’ in the positions of a husband or a wife. Women suffered mostly throughout the Victorian Era as rights were ceased and the rules and guidelines of society were placed. The Victorian Era caused the rights of women to escalate when the Vision of the “Ideal Woman” was introduced amongst society; producing segregation between men and women to last for years to come.
In life women had only one main goal; to marry. Prior to a woman’s marriage, a woman would learn the basic necessities and qualities of a typical Victorian Woman. She would learn ideals such as cooking, cleaning, weaving, raising children and plenty more. If a woman was well of in the financial aspects, she likely did not have to learn much or work as hard other women due to having maids at hand. Women at the time were typically unable to better educate themselves beyond minimal knowledge of household duties because in essence men ruled society. “A woman was inferior to a mam in all ways except the unique one that counted most [to a man]: her femininity. Her place was in the home, on a veritable pedestal if one could be afforded, and emphatically not in the world of affairs” (Altick, 54).
“Current views concerning Victorian femininity continued to be dominated by the 19th century concept of domestic purity and the association figure of the ideal woman, the ‘angle in the house’, carrying out her mission as wife, mother and daughter” (Swisher). During this era men had expected women to acquire desirable qualities such as purity; otherwise the woman would not be of proper marriage quality. “Innocence was what he demanded from the girls of his class, and they must not only be innocent but also give the outward impression of being innocent. White muslin, typical of virginal purity, clothes many a heroine, with delicate shades of blue and pink next in popularity” (Petrie 184). Women started to prepare for marriage as early as the age of 11, in result providing them with limited freedom. Society scurried women and young girls to grow into the perfect woman’ A Victorian Woman. “From infancy all girls who were born above the level of poverty had the dream of a successful marriage before their eyes, for by that alone was it possible for a woman to rise in the world” (Petrie 180). At the time women were not given the opportunities to work or associate themselves with anything beyond the home life. Society created the expectation of men having to take care of the women, leading to significant vulnerability, and reliance on men. Whether right or poor women were not equal to men and never would be.
Women’s rights were scarce and only focused on family orientated ideals. . “Victorian women had...

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