Women During The 19th Century

1111 Words5 Pages
Back in the 19th century, women were nothing more than maids and caretakers. Breaking their limitations was not a factor in their everyday lives. However Dorothea Dix had other beliefs. She believed that women could do more if they were as independent as their opposite sex. She perceived the idea that women could do so much more than just cleaning and cooking. With her powerful beliefs as her shield, Dix battled in the path to improved institutions as a humanitarian. She explored and encountered all types of institutions of the insane. She exchanged her thoughts and beliefs with her peers. The fierce and famous nurse struggled so that troubled people could find peace. In April 4, 1802, the reformer was born in Hampden, Maine. Her…show more content…
What she saw shocked her to her very core. Mentally ill patients were locked in with inmates in uninhabitable and uncomfortable conditions. There was no proper separation of genders nor age, and bodies were crowded in tight spaces. All of this and more were unacceptable for Dix. A new goal surfaced from inside her. She was determined to help people who could not help themselves. From then on, she placed the needy before herself. To accomplish this goal in the 19th century seemed implausible because the female gender was viewed differently than what we have today. Women were considered fraile creatures who should be protected from the dreadful occurrences behind asylum and prison doors. However, these facts did not hinder Dix’s dream of changing the lives of sick people. She traveled around visiting prisons and asylums. All her experiences and all that she witnessed was recorded in her report, which is called a memorial. When she approached the Legislature of Massachusetts, she presented her findings with confidence. She told her male audience, “I proceed, gentlemen, briefly to call your attention to the present state of insane persons confined within this Commonwealth, in cages, closets, cellars, stalls, pens! Chained, naked, beaten with rods, and lashed into obedience.” She continued to offer the gruesomely detailed horrors provided in the neglectful institutions; This intimidated the court. She had succeeded and “convinced
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