- Slides: 11
The Cult of Domesticity Women of the 19 th Century
What was the Cult of Domesticity? • It was a new ideal of behavior for women, arising from women’s magazines, advice books, popular culture, etc.
Godey’s Lady’s Book A. Most widely circulated ladies magazine in the US; B. Encouraged motherhood; 1. Paintings and pictures depicted the “ideal” woman; 2. Fashion stressed to make women attractive to husbands.
Godey’s proclaimed A. the wife and mother are the center of the family; B. "The wife is truly the light of the home. "
Ideal of Womanhood • • Piety Purity Submissiveness Domesticity
Piety • Belief that women must believe in a religion and enforce this upon their children.
Submissiveness A. Women to be passive, submissive to fate, duty, God and men; B. Clothing emphasized passivity 1. Corsets closed off lungs and pinched inner organs 2. Large numbers of undergarments and weight of dresses limited mobility
Domesticity A. Defined: anything related to or of the home; “Housework is an uplifting task. ” B. Women make the home a refuge for men so that they can escape from the crazy outside world.
Purity A. Once married, she has no legal or emotional existence B. 19 th century purity fetish • Limbs, not legs • White meat, not breast • Cover table and chair legs • Separate male and female authors • Stork and cabbage patch stories of babies