Patriarchal Society In The 18th Century

1099 Words5 Pages
In Ireland during the eighteenth century, society was male dominated and male orientated. Ireland was a patriarchal society that oppressed women to a subordinate status. The power and authority lay in the hands of males that prevented women from expressing feelings and emotions. Women were considered to hold an inferior position to males; socially, lawfully and politically. The patterns of abduction, sexual assault and infanticide, during the eighteenth century, highlight the patriarchal society that was prevalent in Ireland during this period. These patterns also emphasise the experiences women had in their subordinate and dependant position. Abduction during this period was interlinked with the economic and financial imperatives of status and the tradition of male violence against women. Abduction was undertaken by ruthless and unscrupulous males, who abducted women of fortune in order to gain access to their wealth. The attitude of these men was connected with the patriarchal assumptions of women’s dependant and subordinate ranking. During this period, physical violence against women was socially accepted as the norm; it was acceptable for men to abuse their wives’ physically, mentally and emotionally without being prosecuted. The males that participated in abduction perceived abduction as being a manner in which they could escape their financial difficulties and evade their social oblivion. It was a method in which men could secure control of real estate, finances and
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