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Victorian Era

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Ð'* During the Era symbolized by the reign of British monarch Queen Victoria was very difficult for women, because of the vision of the "ideal women" shared by most in the society. The legal rights of married women were similar to those of children. They could not vote or sue or even own property. Also, they were seen as pure and clean. Because of this view, their bodies were seen as temples, which should not be adorned with makeup nor should it be used for such pleasurable things as sex. The role of women was to have children and tend to the house. They could not hold jobs unless it was that as a teacher nor were they allowed to have their own checking accounts or savings accounts. In the end, they were to be treated as saints, but saints that had no legal rights.

Ð'* The attitude towards women and education was that education of women needn't be of the same extended, classical and commercial character as that of men. Women were supposed to know the things necessary to bring up their children and to keep house. That's why subjects as history, geography and general literature were of extreme importance, whereas Latin and Greek were of little importance. Woman who wanted to study something like law, physics, engineering, science or art were satirized and dismissed. People thought that it was unnecessary that women went to university. It was even said that studying was against their nature and that it could make them ill. They should stay more or less an "Ornament of Society" and be subordinate to their husbands. Obedience was the only requirement.

Ð'* As exemplified throughout contemporary literature of the nineteenth century, the Victorians were in the midst of social, political, and economic turmoil that would generate vibrations throughout all social classes. The emergence of a new, mercantile middle class was driving all classes towards a society based on capitalism. Competition was arising between the middle class and the aristocracy for a secure social position with little, if any, concern for integrity and moral values

Ð'* The higher an individual climbs in the social order, the greater the desire becomes for capital wealth and the way of life associated with it

Ð'* Men have since biblical times set standards of what is normal and what is not. It is normal for a man to be able to function unimpaired mentally and physically every day of the month unless he is sick. Therefore women who are not able to function at the same level every day of the month Ð''are abnormal'

Ð'* Prior to and up until the end of the Victorian era men were literate and educated so they wrote and read the newspapers and books. Women had no access to education so could not read or write. Therefore there was no advertising directed at women and women were not publicly informed about their bodies by medical writers.

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