Victorian Women in the Work Force Essay

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Victorian Women in the Work Force The Victorian period is often defined by its antique images of flowers, doilies, rosy-cheek children and intricate fashion. However, these trite images shadow the true realities of middle-class families struggling to succeed in the emerging business world. Traditionally, the men spent long days in the city working out business affairs, while the women stayed home with the children preparing meals and planning for social gatherings. Work was often not an option for women because they were seen as incapable of any duty outside of the home. However, with the onset of Queen Victoria’s reign, the women of England slowly began to challenge their subservient roles, taking on jobs as teachers, writers,…show more content…
She was capable of handling governmental affairs while also showing herself to be obedient to Prince Albert, her beloved husband, which became an admirable trait among the English wives of this period (20). Likewise, many historians refer to the Queen as a paradox because she combined her middle-class roots with her aristocratic reign. As one author says, “That the queen of England became the central embodiment of middle-class familial values held great significance for the representation and role of bourgeois women” (Langland 64). Queen Victoria’s concern for the middle-class served as a basis by which English women were able to go outside of their domestic realm and break some of the existing stereotypes. Stereotypes of Victorian Women The stereotypes of this period classified the ideal Victorian woman as being family oriented and subservient to their male counterparts. She was supposed to “love children and also to avoid hurtful blunt statements” and “make her husband the center of her life and be the Light of the Home while her husband tangled with the world at large” (Palmer). Marriage was supposed to be the Victorian woman’s highest aim so that she could fulfill her aspiration of creating a family (Dunhill 23). Within the family, the wife would provide the meals, care for the children, and prepare for any social gatherings that may occur
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