Women's Sexuality In The Victorian Age

909 Words4 Pages
BACKGROUND:
Historically, in western society women’s sexuality has been suppressed and controlled by male power. Women 's sexuality before the Victorian age was seen as a volatile, all-consuming, dangerous phenomenon, a wild and destructive force that must be tamed (by threat of rape/violence and by actual rape/violence), all of which preserves patriarchy. The vagina was said to have teeth, representing the dangers of the sexually irrepressible vagina as consuming male flesh. It was commonly held that women 's sexual appetite was insatiable, and that men could not keep up. This made men fearful that their women would be unfaithful; women were at this time considered property, after all, little more than chattle whores. Marriage in ancient Greece was seen as a form of prostitution or sexual slavery, where wives were expected to provide sexual favours to their husbands in return for being taken care of. Wives were often kept away from other men as a result, and eventually this led to women rooming together, in cloistered fashion, when men were gone.
Through the Victorian age, female sexuality became completely repressed, and the common view was that women 's sexual appetite was smaller than that of men. The picture of the cold and frigid, virginal and pure woman became the norm. Everything about the culture was repressive, and women 's bodies and sexuality was the ultimate site of inscription for this. This was also the time when women 's clothing was most restrictive and

More about Women's Sexuality In The Victorian Age

Open Document