Cult of True Womanhood Outline Essay

603 Words3 Pages
The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860
Barbara Welter
Thesis: A “true women” in the 19th Century was one who was domestic, religious, and chaste. These were virtues established by men but enforced and taught by other women. Women were also told that they were inferior to men and they should accept it and be grateful that someone just loved them.
Quote: “Oh, young and lovely bride, watch well the first moments when your conflicts with his to whom God and society have given control. Reverence his wishes even when you do not his opinions.”
—Caroline Gilman.
A woman is enforcing the virtues that society and men have set for women. Women should not speak out against the husband’s wishes and quietly doubt him if need be. When a woman
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h. Women accepted this virtue proudly. (greatest gift)
 Submission
A. Women were passive responders; the most feminine virtue.
a. Men were superior to women by official degree.
i. Women should submit to them.
b. Women needed to have obedience, humility, and pliability of temper.
c. “…placed from her cradle to her grave…”
d. Women needed to accept that they are weak, timid, and need a protector.
e. Her affection is the repayment of protection and dependence.
f. Only a “true woman” will accept that she is inferior and needs help.
g. Although separate, equal.
h. “A woman has a head almost too small for intellect but just big enough for love.”—Venus de Medici.
i. Women should love because she is loved by someone who deserves her honor.
 Domesticity
A. Women were to only concentrate on domestic affairs unless her husband asks for more.
a. Were to work in silence, unseen.
b. Wives must submerge their talents in order to work for her husband.
c. Hide a harsh answer, admit to fault, and stop in the midst of defense.
d. Women are naturally forgiving and know in their hearts what is right.
e. Were to be gentle at all times and avoid a controversial spirit.
f. Were to submit to fortune and not expect much.
g. The best place for a delicate woman is at home.
h. Men did not want women to read because it might give them crazy
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