Women In The Victorian Era

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Women in the Victorian Era People do not often talk about women before the 20th century. There are sometimes names thrown around of influential women, but women from the Victorian era are made to seem like they were either in the background with not much to them, or they had to be someone incredible to be taken seriously. However, women during these times were experiencing their fair share of hardships and were more complex than people have been lead to believe. Women in the Victorian Era had to deal with their society’s roles that they were given, how they were treated due to their social classes, the world of prostitution, and the never ending cycle of menstruation. All of these things made the women of this time more respectable than people…show more content…
In their adolescence, girls realized they mattered much less than men and boys, and they would live their whole lives this way (Perkin 6). Their lives were limited to being housewives and childbearers. These women never truly had a say in how their lives would play out. Girls were to grow up, work (depending on their social class), and become a mother of a boy (victorian-era.org). Besides getting married, one of their main goals was to move up in social rankings. In marriages, women’s lives changed significantly. As soon as a marriage became official, the woman would be worth much less than her husband, and it was known publicly. Unlike today, divorce was not an option for a woman in an unhappy marriage; she was forced to stick with the marriage she committed to in the beginning. Though these women were rather ignorant and dependent, they were not entirely to blame, Victorian men constantly demanded each of these qualities in a woman. Altogether, women were worth very little during the Victorian era and they were often taken for granted (Swisher 178, 179,…show more content…
Women were classified into four different social classes— Nobility and gentry, the middle class, the upper working class, and the lower working class. Though these labels helped determine their rankings, their roles in society still revolved around their children and husbands. Ladies in nobility went to many proper tea parties and were quite often highly educated. These women employed maid servants; the children of these ladies were often educated by the servants. Ladies of nobility had the best style of many corsets and large, extravagant dresses. Many of the women in the middle working class aimed their whole lives to marry into nobility and become a rank higher. Unfortunately, the women usually ended up working into their own family business while never truly fulfilling her life’s goal. In the upper-working class women had a large variety of jobs. Women could be housekeepers, schoolmistresses, and governesses. Most women, however, became tradeswomen, or worked alongside their husbands in a business. Women in this class also had the opportunity to become maid servants. In lower working classes women generally remained single their whole lives and could do nothing. These poor women lived in ultimate poverty and had almost no chance at escaping their pitiful destinies. Due to their severe poverty these women essentially took any job, no matter the pay
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