Essay about Women and Men of the Victorian Era

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The Victorian era established strict guidelines and definitions for the ladies and gentleman. Noble birth typically defined one as a "lady" or a "gentleman," but for women in this time period, socioeconomic rank and titles held no prestige or special privileges in a male-dominated society. Commonly, women in this era generally tried to gain more influence and respect but to no avail as their male counterparts controlled the ideals and practices of society. Women were subject to these ideals and practices without any legal or social rights or privileges. In the literary titles by Frances Power Cobbe, Sarah Stickney Ellis, Charlotte Bronte, Anne Bronte, John Henry Cardinal Newman, Sir Henry Newbolt, and Caroline Norton, the positions, …show more content…
The opportunity for women to further their education outside of the home and express themselves artistically was extremely rare during the Victorian era. The exposure Frances Power Cobbe had to a life outside of her maternal and spousal obligations would fuel other women to protest the prejudice men held against all women, and thus Cobbe's narration influenced female ambitions for equality in all aspects of life. Cobbe's autobiography certainly gave Caroline Norton a precedent for action and encouragement to voice her disdain for male domination over women.

Caroline Norton's A Letter to the Queen forcibly protested the prejudice women had endured for centuries in the form of a letter sent to the queen in hopes of rectifying Norton's intellectually impoverished sisters. Norton's frustration with the English legal system (in its regards to women) stemmed from her husband's bondage of her. Her husband denied her access to her sons and tried to wrongfully claim her wages as a writer. From Norton's personal frustrations with her husband and the overall male dominated legal system, her A Letter to the Queen presented a passionate argument for the rights of all women with her emphasis on married women. Norton began her letter by claiming that "a married woman in England [had] no legal existence" and that her husband had predefined that the only existence she knows. From this powerful
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