There was a very different scene in the household of American families. During the early 1800s, a woman’s life consisted of many obligations and few choices. Women were pretty much controlled by the men in their life, their fathers, brothers, and husbands. The life would consist of finding a husband, reproducing, and then spending the rest of their lives helping the family in the house. In fact, when women became married, legally all of her inheritance and belongings would belong to her husband.
Women had the stereotype of being the homemaker which is a person whose main job is to take care of her family, home and children. Women were assumed to be homemakers with the primary responsibility for the children (Blair and Lenton 1). Traditionally, the job of a stay at home mother is done by women who have had to make them self’s approachable for marriage, stay at home, take care of the kids, cook and clean. Society benefited economically from high marriage rates because that led to an increase in production of family related goods, home construction, and furnishings. It was frown upon if women did not get married young, and a virgin. Women needed to get married in order to have unprotected intercourse because premarital sex was considered sinful. In the 1950s professional jobs were still largely closed off to women even after they had taken over the workforce when men left for World War II. It was common for companies not to want to hire women, and if they did provide employment for them they would pay them less than men. During that time there were too few women American lawyers, doctors, and engineers. Working women did not have a great salary, and were denied opportunities to advance. Their employers assumed they would quit their jobs as soon as they knew that had become pregnant. If women did work, they were stewardesses, secretaries, nurses and teachers. In addition, many women faced pressure from their families to stay home, and not work at all outside the home. In the 1950's, society encouraged, and pressured women to marry young because of the well-defined roles of that time. Women’s jobs were to serve as a homemaker and mother, so it was not deemed necessary for them to pursue a college degree. Most women were married after high school, and fell into their traditional gender roles right away. As stated in the American Journal of Sociology, “Women were
Today, women are believed to be equal to men however this was not always the case. During colonial times, women did not have the same roles as women do today; men and women had fixed roles in society. Roles between men and women do not exchange due to strict gender roles. Additionally, married women were not exactly considered as companions instead, as the husband’s property. Although gender roles were a significant issue among women in early America, another issue was the background of these women. Factors such as race, religion, geography/region, and social class were substantial to the extent of control a woman had over her own life. These factors significantly shaped the lives of these women. For instance, white women had differences
A Puritan woman in the 1600’s who devoted herself to care for her family. Anne Bradstreet was a mother and a writer. Writing became a hobby when Bradstreet decided to give it a try because she had read much of poetry in so many styles and languages. Most of her pieces were written for teaching purposes in a small school where she served. The author kept most of the poems private for the following reasons: Bradstreet believed her work was unexceptional and at the time it was peculiar for a woman to be writing poetry. In the back of her mind, the author’s principal obligation was raising her children when writing was completed in her unused time. Through the use of metaphors, Anne Bradstreet connected among the
A woman’s greatest time of independence was before she married. When a woman married all of her property, any wages, and rents and profits from real estate went to her husband. Post-Revolution reform made divorce a little easier, but it was still rare. “… although women won greater freedom to divorce, married women still could not sue or be sued, make wills or contracts, or buy and sell property.” Some newly educated women (above the laboring class) were even able to work and make their own money prior to marriage. A common occupation for the post-Revolution woman was teaching. Even as some American women were enjoying their newly found economic freedom, most women still felt their proper place was in the home tending to their family.
In the 1800s women were looked upon as second-class citizens, depriving them the right to vote, run for office, to become educated or even to have any type of profession. After women were married they were not allowed to own their own property, wages/income, or sign contracts. After decades of intense political activities and rallies women were granted the right to vote in the year 1920. Women decided to take a stand as one and fight for equality amongst men and women, even if it meant dying for women in the future to one day cast a vote or run in the election.
During the early 1800s, marriage was seen as a fortification of wealth and power through the unification of two families instead of a declaration of endearment, as reflected through the materialistic marriage customs in the Antebellum South. Generally, a man’s parents designated a future spouse for their son, based off of a woman’s familial ties and financial stature, due to the economic ramifications that the marriage had upon each party involved (O’Neil). Although financial characteristics of the bride’s family were primarily the deciding factor, men typically prefered to marry a compliant woman with “piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity” (Fontin), considering that the gender roles at the time denounced women with ambitious or assertive
In many ways, Bradstreet was remarkably successful in trying circumstances. She was often sickly, worried early in her marriage because she seemed unable to have children, and lived in an unforgiving environment in which mortality rates, especially for women and children, were high. Nevertheless, she persevered and had eight children, all of whom lived to adulthood and all but one of whom outlived their mother. This was a considerable accomplishment for the time and place in which she lived. Besides family good fortune, she was also unusually successful in her poetic career. Few in the colonies of New England had time to compose poetry, especially women with eight children. In fact, few women at all wrote and published poetry in the seventeenth century. Yet Bradstreet so prevailed in her art that she is credited with the first published book of poetry from the New World: The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in New England: Or, Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, Full of Delight (1650).
The American Revolution was a shift in political thought and ideals that was so radically different from the dominant paradigm that it required a parallel social shift in order to maintain the political structure. Colonial family structure needed to be controlled by legal means to ensure survival, and so too was this new direction going to need to be controlled from within the family, just with different goals. Among these myriad changes was a transformation of the roles that women performed, specifically their roles as wives and daughters. Differences in family life and the ideals of the Republic had immense effect on the lives that women were living from the economic and maternal hardships of the colonial period to a more modern looking
Both the Victorian Era and 1950s and 1960s America featured inflexible expectations of a wife and her views on marriage. Grant Allen, a Victorian essayist, in “Plain Words on the Women Question” in 1889, wrote, “We ought frankly to recognize that most women must be wives and mothers: that most women should therefore be trained, physically, morally, socially, and mentally, in the way best fitting for them to be wives and mothers” (Broadview Anthology 628). Essentially, Allen holds the belief that all women are meant to serve as an asset to men, to complement men. Additionally, his use of the word “train” connotes that women should be disciplined to fit this role, which betrays the lack of equality between the sexes. He further argues that it goes against nature for women to desire more than motherhood and wifehood. He chastises women who attempt to oppose their “duty,” “instead of boasting of their sexlessness as a matter of pride, they ought to keep it in the dark, and to be ashamed of it” (628). In other words, to be feminine is to mother children and to marry a man. Deviating from this neatly structured plan for a woman’s obligation is to become unfeminine.
Since the middle of the nineteenth century, women in America have been striving to obtain rights equal to that of men. Before that time, women were viewed as physically, as well as mentally, inferior to men. Men had the upper hand, in all walks of life, including the workplace and at home. Obtaining equality among men has proven to be a difficult uphill battle for women, but, by the mid-1800 's, women began to see the fruits of their labors. It all began on July 19, 1848 when Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jane Hunt, Martha Coffin Wright, Lucretia Mott and Mary Ann McClintock organized a convention in Seneca Falls, New York. This convention marked the first organized women 's movement in the United States of America. At the time, the rights of
In Bradstreet’s poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband”, Bradstreet mentions the reciprocal love her and her husband share and how she prays that God will realize the strong bond the couple shares and that their love will be ever-lasting and will persevere even after death. Bradstreet stressed how important it was to her to be a good and humble Puritan wife and her poetry exuded the beliefs, values, and ideals of Puritan life.
Anne Bradstreet’s poetry resembles a quiet pond. Her quiet puritan thinking acts as the calm surface that bears a resemblance to her natural values and religious beliefs. Underneath the pond there is an abundance of activity comparable to her becoming the first notable poet in American Literature. Anne Bradstreet did not obtain the first notable poet’s title very easily; she endured sickness, lack of food, and primitive living conditions during her time in the New World. Despite these misfortunes she used her emotions and strong educational background to write extraordinarily well for a woman in that time.
Anne Bradstreet was an 17th century Puritan poet, during the colonial period of North America. She is best known to be one of the most prominent English poets of North America and is noted for writing poems during the times when women were discouraged from writing. Her poems are known for their themes of Puritanism and motherhood. In “The Author to Her Book”, Anne Bradstreet talks about another subject entirely: her poems. Through her negative imagery, parataxis, and comparisons, Anne Bradstreet in this poem attempts to compare her book to raising a child.
Nowadays, it is easier for women to get jobs than in the past due to the equality between men and women. However, in the some situations, women need to give up their jobs even though they would like to continue their jobs. Particularly, one of the general reasons of women’s retirements is child-care leave. When they are pregnant, they should leave from their work to prepare to give a birth. It is fact that most women have the responsibility to take care of their family including children. That is because women would like to support directly rather than financially. In other words, women set a higher value on taking care of their family members than working.