Chapter 2 Summary The scene changes from Oxbridge to London, where the narrator sits in a room attempting to write about Women and Fiction.
With the hindsight of a whole century, the latter view is perhaps more persuasive, for the situation in can be seen to have its beginnings in the Victorian era. But actual changes in gender dispositions during the queen's long reign should not over-estimated.
While the period witnessed a distinctive shift in ideas respecting gender relations at the level of social philosophy, away from a traditional idea of 'natural' male supremacy towards a 'modern' notion of gender equity, the process was vigorously contested and by no means achieved.
Important legal, educational, professional and personal changes took place, but by full, unarguable gender equality remained almost as utopian as in If some notions of inequality were giving way to the idea that the sexes were 'equal but different', with some shared rights and responsibilities, law and custom still enforced female dependency.
As women gained autonomy and opportunities, male power was inevitably curtailed; significantly, however, men did not lose the legal obligation to provide financially, nor their right to domestic services within the family.
Moreover, the key symbol of democratic equality, the parliamentary franchise, was expressly and repeatedly withheld from women. In relation to health, the Victorian age saw major changes in knowledge and practice relating to public sanitation, largely in response to population growth and rapid urbanisation, with the gradual provision of piped water, sewerage and improved housing.
In medicine, micro-bacterial understanding led to better control of infectious disease, avoidance of cross-contamination in surgery and prevention of specific diseases through vaccination. Traditional treatments and nursing practices evolved to improve recovery rates, but there were few effective drug remedies and overall morbidity and mortality remained high.
Hospital-based medicine catered largely for the poor, many of whom ended their days in the local workhouse infirmary; middle- and upper-class patients were attended in their own homes. In mental health, patients were steadily concentrated in large, highly regulated lunatic asylums outside the urban areas.
A major change, towards the end of the century, lay in falling birth-rates and smaller families. Couples like Victoria and Albert, married inwho had nine children in seventeen years, were from the s steadily replaced, in nearly all sections of society, by those choosing to limit family size.
Most developments in public sanitation and medical practice were gender-neutral in their theoretical bases and actual effects.
Ideas relating to reproductive health were the obvious exception, generally both 'read back' into gendered theories of individual health, and also deployed in prescriptive notions of sexuality and sexual behaviour.
In the early Victorian period, sexual codes were governed by religious and social moralism. In later years science began to challenge religion as the dominant epistemology, but in support of similar ideas.
While the end of the era saw some demand for 'free' partnerships without the sanction of marriage, and an increase in same-sex relationships, both were generally deemed deviant.
The mid-century was notable for its moral panic over prostitution, which developed - despite a 'permissive' interval in the s - into demands for male continence outside marriage.
At the end of the era, a socially shocking topic was that of the virginal bride and her innocent offspring infected with syphilis by a sexually experienced husband.
Bringing together political and personal demands for equality, the slogan: Gender and Power 'The Queen is most anxious to enlist every one who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of "Woman's Rights", with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feeling and propriety It is a subject which makes the Queen so furious that she cannot contain herself.
God created men and women different - then let them remain each in their own position. Traditionally, women were defined physically and intellectually as the 'weaker' sex, in all ways subordinate to male authority.
In private life women were subject to fathers, husbands, brothers even adult sons. Publicly, men dominated all decision-making in political, legal and economic affairs.
But as monarch, Victoria - who in was only 18 years old - was socially and symbolically superior to every other citizen in Britain, all men being constitutionally considered her subjects. Changing patterns of patriarchal authority fell within a wider scenario of expanding rights and diminishing subservience for many people, including employees and young people.
In some ways resistance to change in gender relations thus represented a symbolically concentrated reaction against general democratisation. Early Victorian gender prescriptions featured men as industrious breadwinners and women as their loyal helpmeets.
From the s, to this social construct the Darwinian theory of 'survival of the fittest' added a pseudo-scientific dimension which placed men higher on the evolutionary ladder. He is eminently the doer, the creator, the discoverer, the defender. His intellect is for speculation, and invention; his energy for adventure, for war, and for conquest But the woman's power is for rule, not for battle - and her intellect is not for invention or creation, but for sweet ordering, arrangement, and decision She must be enduringly, incorruptibly good; instinctively, infallibly wise -wise, not for self-development, but for self-renunciation: Throughout the era, 'masculine' values of courage and endeavour supported military campaigns and commercial expansion.
Women were allotted a subsidiary role, with patience and self-sacrifice the prime feminine virtues. Motherhood was idealised, alongside virginal innocence, but women were subject to pervasive denigration.Women's Clothing Terms The following terms will aid you with the many layers of Women's Renaissance Costumes.
Bodice (bod-is): a tight-fitting, sleeveless garment covering the torso. The bodice is most often stiffened with boning and cross-laced, worn over a blouse or chemise. which carry connotations in his depictions of women to instil superiority over them.
Shakespeare also portrays women characters negatively as dependent on their fathers in Othello. He portrays women characters as sex goddesses who would compel men to murder their women out of love.
Mar 17, · Claim: “Men are naturally dominant, women are naturally submissive, thus men are superior.” Response: “Even though physical or psychological dominance are a factor that influence social status, social status and moral superiority bear no relationship to each other.” Done.
The narrator intuits a depth of motivation and response underlying this issue, and she decides that male scholars have been less interested in the inferiority of women than in preserving and authenticating their sense of male superiority.
Women have served as mirrors to men, in this sense, for centuries. Men, in the meantime: still suffer more deaths in the workplace, - (as boys) now get marked lower in school, - have a faster-falling employment rate than women, - still die younger than women. There are ways in which it is worse for women now, such as unrealistic pressure to look like a movie star, much of which comes from other women.
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