Women in the Victorian Era Hope Hawthorne

Throughout the Victorian era, society was able to create a patriarchal system of gender inequality throughout the contribution of people’s perspective of women, relationships between male and females, and the separation of social classes.

How society perceived men and women in the Victorian era, allowed for the development of their concept of male supremacy and the degrading of women.They had their stereotypical roles in society; to maintain the husband's social life, and to raise the children to carry on their current life style. Women didn't learn the normal core subjects the men learned. Women were taught in the arts of sophistication, manners, and accomplishments. They were taught and judged on their appearance rather than intellect.

Marriage was the focal point of a women's life in their society. Women wed solely to have children. They married men depending on their occupation, income and status rather than love. The men were basically given complete control over their wives after marriage, including the ability of legal abuse, rape, and even the children belonged solely to him. Women began to view marriage as a slight form of slavery.

Social classes designed the way women were to live in their society; whether a life of luxury, or poverty, women's occupation relied solely on their social class.

Nobility- life of luxury, no occupation

Middle- no job, or self employed

Upper Working Class- governess, house keeper, school mistress

Lower Working Class- trades women, or house keeper

Under Class- prostitute, and laborers

The defining concept of the differences between men and women in the Victorian era was reflected upon the perspective society had referring to women, the relationship between the sexes, and the separation of social classes, creating an unfair, patriarchal society.It wasn’t until after the 1850’s that women began suffrage movements against male oppression. Many of women's right we now have today, initially sprouted from the seeds of Victorian women's repression.


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