The “Cult of True Womanhood” has greatly influenced society throughoutall of America’s history. This set of standards was first accepted and practicedby all of the European colonies. They were then passed through the generationsand, in many cases, still exist. I’ll describe the essay, “The Cult of TrueWomanhood,” and discuss my views on it. I’ll then illustrate how these standardsare still present in today’s society.
First, I’ll discuss the essay. It’s easiest to describe this essay if Ibegin by defining “The Cult of True Womanhood.” As I stated the introduction, itis a set of standards. These principles create and have created a strongdivision between the genders, and therefore, caused tension. Basically, itstates that men are to work and make money for the family.
A woman’s goal was tofind a husband and have children. Women were also expected to have four maincardinal virtues – piety, purity, submissiveness, and domestication. Piety is,basically, grace. Women were to expected to always be dainty and lovely. Purityspeaks for itself. Women were expected to stay abstinent until marriage.
Submissiveness means that the woman should, once married to a man, completelydevote herself to him, carrying out his every wish within her power. One verypowerful sentence in the essay well represents the woman’s goals and values wellaccording to “The Cult of True Womanhood.” It states, “Marriage improves thefemale character, not only because it puts her in the best possible tuition,that of the affections, and affords scope to her active energies, but because itgives her higher aims, and a more dignified position.”
In my opinion, this meansthat marriage improves a woman’s mindset, gives her direction, and gives hermore motivation to do her daily chores. If you take this and attempt to apply itto the current society, you’ll find that it is extremely wrong, but not quitecompletely. The last virtue, domesticity, means that a woman is to be ahousewife, to stay at home. This is my explanation of the essay, “The Cult ofTrue Womanhood.
“The Cult has effected today’s society greatly. We are currently battlingmany gender issues that were initiated by these standards. The primary issue isgender discrimination. For instance, a woman may not be hired by a constructioncompany because the owner believes that it’s “man’s work.” Another issueconcerning work is wages. Many women have avoided being rejected for a jobposition. However, some then notice that a man doing the same work for the samecompany is getting up to 35 percent more wages. One point I’d like to bring upalso is politics. In the past, women have stayed out of office due to the Cult.
Now, some women are accusing the government of sexism. However, I don’t believethat this is why women aren’t in office. Look how many women are running forpresident or governor this year. Most people base their votes on the potentialof the candidates. I know I will. These are some effects the Cult has had ontoday’s society. The “Cult of True Womanhood” has been a strong influence on America’shistory. We may not a agree with it, but it definitely exists, and we must dealwith it.