1. The first essay clearly shows the impact that an ideology of domesticity on women in New England in the 1830’s. The writer at first calls this time period a “paradox in the “progress” of women’s history in the United States”.
During this time apparently two contradictory views on women’s relations to society clashed, unusually, those two being domesticity, which essentially limited women, giving them a “sex-specific” role that they must abide to, this mostly being present at the home with their husbands and whatever kids they may or may not have had at that time, and feminism, which essentially tried to remove this domesticity, trying to remove sex-specific limits on women’s opportunities and capacities, trying to get them an increased role in society, not be defined to the home, and not have any limits on what they could do, and most of all be equal to men.
This is because in New England, women were victims who were subjects of the painful subordination that came as an add-on with marriage during this period, as well as in society. They also experienced a huge disadvantage in education and in the economy, as well as the denial of their access to official power in their own churches, and impotence in politics.
Essentially, the wife at this time, was defined by her husband, and she in no way, shape, or form could have a role that was more significant than her husband, let alone even as much as her husband in the societies that were present, and that they were a part of during this time period, best demonstrated by New England in 1835. She couldn’t sue, contract, or execute a will on her own, and divorce may have been possible, but quite rare. In fact, the public life of women was just about minimal, and none of them voted.
Looking back, it was actually worse then than in 1770, as thanks to universal white male suffrage that was present during this period, their roles in society became heavily conspicuous, and in the economy, their role clearly became second class. The 1830’s still was a turning point on the other hand, with factories allowing for females to be a part of their workforce, and middle-class women petitioning in order to retain rights to their property and earnings. Many pursued professions that were appropriate for them, teaching, and their entry into these systems almost looked like a takeover of sorts during this eriod. Secondary schools and academies prepared young women to teach multiplied, partially as a result of their growing literacy during this period. They also entered various reform movements, in order to pursue objects in their own self-interest as well as to improve their society, and they became known in some part as “moral reformers” during this period, which attacked the double standard present with sexual morality, and the victimization of prostitution.
Even though the convention of 1848 in Seneca Falls is widely remembered for its impact on feminism, there was a huge impact before that in the 1830’s. However, domesticity somehow became more prominent for women, as there were authors of both genders who reiterated women’s limited role in society, and these writings essentially looked back to its traditional understanding of women’s place in society, which produced minimal results.
The particularization and domestication of women during this period was very important during this period, and it clearly left it’s permanent impact on women for the future in terms of their future occupations, as well as their place in the domestic structure during that period, and the changes which would come for women during this time period. With the domestic sphere becoming more conspicuous during this time, yet the roles of women in terms of domestic influence increasing, it demonstrates the conflict arising between these two views and women’s roles in society in general during this period. . During this period, according to the writer, as the consequences of independence and republican ideologies came through, then the lives of white-middle class Americans became quite complex, as many men went to the northeast for factories and work in general. Women however didn’t need to spin thread and weave cloth during this time either, as they could do a lot more than before, as their roles in society remained considerable, and especially for those who were outside the orbit of the market economy.
Women however during this time, people who had a huge impact during this period, and who were active consumers in the economy during this time, became passive consumers of the goods that men purchased with the money in which they earned outside of the home during this time period. They were essentially left with an uplifting environment, a haven in which their men could return after a long hard day at the factory, for those who needed a break from all of the hard work and the competition that was essentially just a daily occurrence, or even common business in the marketplace and the factories in which they worked in.
Domesticity during this time however, made it seem as if women were morally superior to men during this time period, this being as they found themselves becoming more involved in the economic production during this time period, and really increasingly superfluous in the world at that time, as they discovered in the notion of moral superiority not only a source of self-esteem but a means of affecting the world around them, which clearly they saw as a opportunity, envisioning it as a step forward in society for the woman, and the women of that period in the south and really around the world, even in the Northeast in New England during this period. Masculinity didn’t do a good job of attaining the hoped-for standards, as they didn’t have other equally profound consequences for American middle-class culture at this time. It justified the exclusion of women from the world as acceptable to both women and men at this time, and it cultivated strong bonds around women as well.
They in fact shared the biological experiences central to their definition as women and spoke the same language of virtue and piety, which essentially means that they instilled a awareness of a set of common goals for them and experiences present for them, which had values specific to women, and distinct from those of men. The key to this was the extensive networks of female friends that were present during this time period for these women. Since women were supposedly better than men during this time, it was feasible and easy to believe that women were obliged and privileged to work together and help other women, who were fallen, and poor, who were having some sort of trouble during this time period as a result of the society that they were present in during this time period.
Southern white women during this time were aware of the ideology of domesticity during this time, and they would try to implement it and its teachings for their lives, but their expectations were frequently articulated during this time period. There was little industrialization, domestication, urbanization, immigration, and therefore, social dislocation present during this time period for these women partially due to the anxiety present in the north during this time period at this time. The ideology of domesticity during this time for southerners articulated confirming their racial belief that regional superiority and their virtues of their racial beliefs were true, allowing for them to articulate the characteristics of the ideal woman at this time during this time period.
During this time, southerners told women how to handle their marriages and really how to have a happy marriage, which was definitely significant during this time period at this time. The characteristics of the southern white woman during this time demonstrate the impotence of the white south based on its gender, race, and its own uniqueness during this time period, influenced by various unique cultural messages at this time during this time period. 3. The primary documents in this section do a good job of demonstrating the extent as to whether or not the south and the north had any differences during this time on the issue of women’s rights, demonstrating the respective political ideals during this time period.
The first of these documents addresses the home and women in America in general during this time period, talking about the universality of organized associations as well and the masses, such as men giving up their political opinions, feelings, and judgments, yielding to the voice and will of those around them. It talks about how neither men or women really think, feel, or act for themselves, and thus they see so little instances of individual greatness, either moral or intellectual, and how they must not undervalue the good of this time, or really overlook the evils either necessarily or incidentally concerned with this spirit of association. Their chief aim throughout these pages is to prove that her domestic duties have a paramount claim over everything else upon her attention.
Home, according to the writer is the cradle of the human race. The next document talks about the rights and interests in the female sex and how they have been fully developed in the United States, and how the subject at hand is in fact at a peculiar interest to American women. In this country, it is established that women have a equal interest in all social and civil concerns, and how no civil or political institution is right in sacrificing their interests in order to promote the other sex. It talks about women in political affairs and how they have little interest or concern about them, and how in matters pertaining to the education of their children, they have a superior influence.
The success of these institutions at this time during this time period, depend upon the intellectual and moral character of the mass of the people. It goes on to talk about the various responsibilities of these women and then the suggestions for how to reform them. The next document demonstrates how women were expanding into the factories during this time period in a picture. The one after that one talks about “wage slavery”, attacking it and really the evils of factory life in general during this time period at this time. The next document is a poem in which it talks about how the women have launched and truly evolved during this time period, leaping from “their spheres”.
It talks about their respective plans and really how they will do anything in order to gain their rights and really further evolve during this time period at this time. This is written as a response to an attack by church leaders on abolitionists, who spoke against slavery in a male audience. The next one is written by Sojourner Truth, who was born a slave in New York, and spoke against slavery, and thus this document is the recording of a speech by her. This document expresses her respective opinions on a separate female sphere, and how there should be one, and how she took the defense of mother Eve, talking about how they should have as much rights as men during this time period at this time.
The next document is another picture and it talks about love, purity and fidelity in this picture, demonstrating the importance of women’s movements during this time period at this time. The next document speaks to the ideal southern woman and really the relative position of the sexes in the social and political world at this time during this time period. The next, the 11th document, is another poem, in which one of the most popular writers of the north talks about the problems with northern female reformers. This rather argues against a separate sphere, calling these women essentially loudmouths, and unhelpful in terms of getting support for their cause.
The next one is written by a pro-slavery writer, who is responding to the abolitionist assault on the peculiar institution starting in the 1830’s. In this, it talks about how the morals of this slave class is very loose, yet talks about the problems during this time with prostitution which is only hampered by the warm passions of youth. The next document is a journal from a woman in which she talks about the pressure for young women in the south to conform to the ideals that were present at that time in that time period. In the final document, it attacks southern society again, and it specifically attacks sexual relations between white men and slaves. In conclusion, there are many different domestic views on the separate spheres issues during this time in both the north and south.