Victorian dating list
After a woman married, her rights, her property, and even her identity almost ceased to exist.
By law she was under the complete and total supervision of her husband: thus through marriage, husband and wife became one person; whatever view he presented was the unquestionable truth (Perkin 73).
Women, on the other hand, were dominated by their sexuality, and were expected to fall silently into the social mold crafted by men, since they were regarded as irrational, sensitive, and dutiful.
Motherhood, socially restricted and defined by women’s sexual abilities, was, like marriage, an institution to limit women’s roles in society.The most common way to characterize a society at a given time is to divide it into social classes and evaluate the differences between each group.However, the period known as the Victorian era in England, from 1837 to 1901, witnessed such polarized gender roles that it can also be analyzed according to the different functions assigned to men and women, more commonly known as the ideology of separate spheres.Not only did the husband have almost complete control over his wife’s body, since beatings and marital rape were legal, their children also belonged to him, as did any property and money that the wife brought into the house.Indeed it is understandable to see why many women saw marriage as falling little short of slavery.
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Such beliefs were required in order to properly bring up children, because “a mother who lacked religious faith could not instill sexual propriety in her daughter, and thus was unfit to be a mother at all” (Holmes and Nelson 21).