Women's Rights In The Nineteenth Century

1339 words - 6 pages

In the Nineteenth Century, women were not given the rights that they are able to experience today, one woman in particular was said to, “possess more influence upon the thought of American women than any woman previous to her time” (Norton Anthology 740). Margaret Fuller was an accomplished writer of many essays and also the author of a book that talked about women’s rights before the time of women’s suffrage movements. During a time when women were not supposed to have the education that men were, Fuller was taught by her father many different languages and carried a great understanding of that a student from a university would have. Moreover, Fuller devoted much of her time to being a columnist for a newspaper and argued for women’s equality to men. Fuller’s works showed how education, career, and marriage were the major issues that women faced in their fight for equality.
Women in the early days of America, even the world, were not shown the same treatment as a man would have been given, they were beneath them. Women were always seen as the care giver and food preparer of the house, while the man would find work or get an education at a university. According to Susan Cruea, “Women had the opportunity to attend female seminaries and colleges, the curriculum at these schools was limited to religious instruction and basic "book learning" which would enable a mother to later educate her children. Intellectual pursuits were strongly discouraged; instead, a True Woman was expected "to fulfill herself in the 'instinctive' arts of child rearing, domestic pursuits, and spiritual comfort".” So women could attend school to help their children, but could not take their education any higher because of being a woman and that would make them come across as being less feminine. Education was frowned upon for women because they were the ones that stayed home and cared for the children; the men were not supposed to worry about the chores in the house because they had the expenses and other headaches of the house they spent much of the time thinking about. When women were young girls they could get away with playing masculine things, but when they came of age they were supposed to know their place. Therefore, from the time a woman was born she would be taught that she must take care of the house and not think of an education or even a career outside that home.
Women did not receive education to further themselves into a career they enjoyed, instead women were given smaller jobs like working as a waitress or a stream tress. What these jobs have in common is that a woman would be seen doing this in her own home and the man would not, he would have the political or higher kind of job that was seen as being masculine. Kerstin Fest stated that, “[for a woman] becoming a wage earner she becomes part of the “masculine” system of commerce, but by putting herself on the job market she also becomes visible, buyable, a commodity: in short, all that a respectable,...

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