Indudtrialisation, Class & Culture: The Early Victorians Essay

Dorothy Thompson was born on 9 July 1893 in Lancaster. New York. to a Methodist curate and his married woman. Her female parent died when she was eight old ages old. She was sent in 1908 to relations in Chicago. as a consequence of her frequent dissensions with her stepmother.

( “Dorothy Thompson ( 1893-1961 ) ) . ” In 1914. Thompson graduated from Syracuse University. after which she joined the women’s right to vote motion.

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In 1917. she moved to New York and started a calling as a journalist. ( “Dorothy Thompson ( 1893-1961 ) ) . ”She tried to exert her calling in Germany.

get downing in 1920. After five old ages. she already “headed the Berlin agency of the New York Post and the Public Ledger. ” However. in 1934. she was forced to resign Germany due to her negative Hagiographas about Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. Thereafter.

she returned to America to compose political columns and commentaries. As a outstanding journalist. she was considered one of the most influential adult females in America.

She was besides the “most syndicated adult female journalist in the state.” She wrote many political articles. chiefly associating to the Nazis. but she besides wrote about women’s issues. since she wrote a monthly column for the Ladies Home Journal entitled “On the Record. ” ( “Dorothy Thompson ( 1893-1961 ) ) . ” One of the commentaries Thompson wrote refering adult females was her sentiment about adult females in the Victorian age.

Harmonizing to her. adult females at that clip were considered and treated as foreigners in society. This paper shall analyze the cogency of her decision by looking at the historical and social events during the Victorian period. peculiarly those associating to the function of adult females in all facets of Victorian life.Victorian Theory The get downing point of this enquiry could be the perceptual experience of those who lived in the Victorian Age of affairs associating to sex and gender.

Scholars believe that theories associating to sex and gender were “unavoidable issues for the Victorians. ” ( Lee ) . The primary feeling about work forces and adult females of the Victorian age is that they are academic and sexually repressed. However. this prevailing position has been invariably questioned and even challenged through historical histories. ( Lee ) .

This affair. nevertheless. is non the most important facet of Victorian theory of sex and gender that is relevant to Thompson’s averments.The more of import inquiry involves the finding of the intervention of work forces and adult females in Victorian society.

More peculiarly. it is of import to cognize the footing of such intervention. Victorian work forces and adult females were by and large non regarded as peers.

Work force were seen as superior to adult females ; and as a effect of this perceptual experience. adult females were delegated functions of less importance in society while work forces took on the more of import 1s. Victorian Theorists Spencer and Geddes Herbert Spencer and Patrick Geddes were the taking theoreticians in the Victorian Age who probed the issue of gender and gender distinction.

They instantly took notice of the differences in physical and physiological facets of work forces and adult females. Aside from this. they saw in work forces and adult females two different sets of properties. which formed the footing of their stereotyped dyadic theoretical account based on the two sexes. ( Lee ) . Led by these two. Victorian theoreticians divided the domain of work forces and adult females into two. and delegated certain undertakings to work forces and adult females.

based on their sensed differences. It is believed that the differences in their properties began organize the earlier signifiers of life. ( Lee ) . The foundation of this division of domain was the belief that work forces and adult females had different energy degrees.

Work force were considered as the “active agents. ” while adult females were considered sedentary. To work forces were attributed the catabolic nature of disposition.

which means they let go of energy. while to adult females were attributed the anabolic nature of disposition. which nurtured energy.

( Lee ) . The Division of Spheres and its Biological Foundation The division of domains between work forces and adult females in the Victorian Age is chiefly based on biological evidences. It was believed that men’s function in the place is merely fertilisation. which leaves him free to make other. more energy-consuming activities. such as hunting or forage.

Furthermore. it was believed that merely work forces had the capacity for abstract logical thinking. a mark of “highly-evolved life. ” ( Lee ) . On the other manus. adult females were invariably seen in the place beset by biological happenings.

such as gestation and menses. This led to the impression that adult females were inactive and weak. that they can no longer prosecute other activities outside the place. It should be noted that at this point in clip. menses was believed to be a clip of woman’s “illness.

enervation. and impermanent insanity. ” Thus.

adult females were told to remain place to salvage her energy. while work forces were allowed to prosecute other activities outside the place.Geddes’ theories were more sweeping.

He claimed that non merely did work forces possess greater intelligence and energy than adult females. they besides had greater independency and bravery. It was evident that Geddes found this averment unfair to adult females.

and so he attributed certain features to them. However. these properties were still of a domestic nature ; viz. . “constancy of fondness and sympathetic imaginativeness. ” While work forces were given the property of intelligence. adult females were limited to the gift of rapid intuition. In add-on.

adult females were given inactive properties such as great forbearance. open-mindedness. and a acute grasp of subtle inside informations.( Lee ) .

The “Family Claim” Jane Addams discussed another. more corrupting form found in the lives of adult females in the Victorian Age. She called it the “family claim.

” ( “Life for Women” ) . Harmonizing to Addams. Victorian adult females were considered as mere ownerships by their households. Work forces were ab initio given the same respect. but such intervention waned by the terminal of the eighteenth century.

( “Life for Women” ) . This impression of the “family claim” was grounded on many grounds. the foremost of which is the function of Victorian adult females in the place.To adult females were delegated most. if non all. of the housekeeping.

such as cleansing. cookery and helping ailing people. Another factor that underlies the “family claim” is the women’s function in birth and kid raising. She is the 1 seen as responsible for transporting a kid in her uterus.

and the one responsible for caring for the baby after the latter was born. Womans were besides responsible for birth control. such that unplanned gestation can be blamed to tem and non to the work forces. ( “Life for Women” ) . Finally.

adult females at the clip did non hold money-making businesss. as their chief activities were domestic.Hence. the control of the household over adult females. who were seen as dependants on the work forces for support.

was well great. ( “Life for Women” ) . Women’s Profession and Education As gleaned from the above treatment. adult females lived in a province that is merely a shade better than slaves. Since merely work forces were seen every bit capacitated to work for a life.

most. if non all. adult females had no independent agencies of subsistence. This leaves adult females with no other better pick than to obey the work forces. Furthermore. adult females were non allowed to follow any business. as such is non portion of their responsibilities. which all belong in the place.

These state of affairss are based on even more cardinal difference in intervention. Merely boys were allowed entree to universities ; therefore adult females received less instruction than male childs. This aggravated the job of adult females refering employment and independent agencies of life. ( “Women’s Status in Mid nineteenth Century England A Brief Overview” ) . Marriage The establishment of matrimony was another factor that contributed to the unpleasant intervention of adult females in the Victorian Age. The construct of matrimony during the period was fraught with many impressions and beliefs about adult females and their function and society.Most of these impressions were negative and take downing. and had no other map than to stress the higher place occupied by the hubby in the place hierarchy.

( “Women’s Status in Mid nineteenth Century England A Brief Overview” ) . Since adult females had no chance to gain a life independently during the Victorian Age. most had no pick but to get married person who could supply such necessities for her.

Furthermore. adult females who expressed their desire to stay single were non regarded favourably and were condemned to societal disapproval. ( “Women’s Status in Mid nineteenth Century England A Brief Overview” ) .This primary motive for adult females to get married in the Victorian age was due to their deficiency of sufficient instruction. Womans were merely taught domestic responsibilities and were left uneducated in other. more of import facets of life.

Furthermore. adult females were told at such a immature age that they have to get married someday. as their hereafter functions would merely be as married womans. ( “Women’s Issues Then and Now” ) .

The state of affairs gets even worse after a adult female gets married. Everything that she owns. including herself. becomes belongings of the hubby. This means that the adult male can make anything to the adult female without her express consent.

The adult male is besides authorized by jurisprudence to exert complete control and rule over his wife’s organic structure. The matrimony contract contains “a vow to obey her hubby. ” Thus. a married adult female has no pick but to obey her hubby and let him entree to her organic structure if he wants the same. ( “Women’s Status in Mid nineteenth Century England A Brief Overview” ) . Marriage was an instrument by which adult females experienced great debasement.

They were non-entities in all facets of life. particularly in jurisprudence. “Women were. under the jurisprudence. ‘legally unqualified and irresponsible. ’” Therefore.

they can non move except where their hubbies gave their consent thereto.In add-on. they were afforded neither legal rights nor personal belongings. ( “Women in the Victorian Age” ) . Marriage was besides an instrument for the farther strengthening of the impression that adult females were mere objects or movables. owned by their hubbies. Therefore.

under the jurisprudence. “a hubby and married woman are one individual. and the hubby is that individual. ” Lone hubbies had the right to move. adult females were mere inactive histrions in Victorian society. ( “Women in the Victorian Age” ) .

The unfortunate being of adult females during this period was dramatically described by Florence Fenwick Miller in 1890. therefore:Under entirely semisynthetic Torahs adult females have been reduced to the most low status of legal bondage in which it is possible for human existences to be held… under the arbitrary domination of another’s will. and dependent for nice intervention entirely on the goodness of bosom of the single maestro. ( “Women’s Status in Mid nineteenth Century England A Brief Overview” ) . The Deviant View of Victorian Women Amidst the prevailing position of adult females as slaves or belongings of work forces or their households. there is a instead untypical impression of adult females during the Victorian Age.

This impression placed adult females on a base and treated them as goddesses. They were even worshipped in some histories. This construct of adult females was reflected chiefly in Victorian novels. films and telecasting shows. ( “Women’s Status in Mid nineteenth Century England A Brief Overview” ) .

However. this impression is excessively much of a contradiction to the existent province of personal businesss in the Victorian Age. The existent state of affairs consisted of the different intervention between work forces and adult females. peculiarly as to their rights. responsibilities. instruction and business. Personal Point of viewThis author agrees with the averment of Dorothy Thompson that adult females were treated as “outsiders” during the Victorian Age. Having seen the deprived place of adult females from that period.

such decision is ineluctable. Womans were non allowed to take part in relevant personal businesss because they were seen as the “weaker sex. ” Despite cogent evidence that they are able to take on great duties and that they possess intelligence every bit much as work forces. Victorian society did non see them suit to get sufficient instruction to fit them with accomplishments to gain independent life.Womans had been the pillars of the Victorian place.

but they were degraded by puting them under the control and supervising of their hubbies or their households. Worse. adult females had been treated inhumanely. as they were regarded as movables or belongings for the longest clip. Work force and adult females were divided into two domains.

despite the deficiency of footing to make so aside from mere physical make-up and biased societal decisions. Work force were seen as the active histrions while adult females were seen as the inactive histrions. These properties were ascribed to work forces and adult females. despite the fortitude manifested by adult females in executing all the responsibilities assigned to her by society.

Given all these. it is easy to hold to the proposition that work forces had been considered as mere foreigners in Victorian society. following merely to work forces who were the 1s who enjoyed discriminatory position.

with all the benefits accessory thereto. Works Cited “Dorothy Thompson ( 1893-1961 ) . ” Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site.

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” 10 Dec. 2006 & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. britainexpress. com/History/Late_Victorian_Age. htm & gt ; . Lee. Elizabeth.

“Victorian Theories of Sexual activity and Sexuality. ” 1997. 10 Dec. 2006 & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. victorianweb. org/gender/sextheory.hypertext markup language & gt ; . “Life for Women.

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