Women’s History From Republican Motherhood to Cult of Domesticity.
Status of Colonial Women Ø ENGLISH COMMON LAW (Pg 136) l Coverture – British law that women’s rights were merged with that of her husband (‘covered’) Only legal right was who to marry l “Dower rights” women get 1/3 or husbands property upon his death l Without husband’s consent she could not: • Sign legal documents, obtain an education, keep wages, or even have liability for her actions “the movement for a married women’s property act, then became a dress rehearsal for women’s suffrage. ” Puritans did have some laws protecting women from physical abuse and allowed for divorce
Women in the Revolution Ø Helpers in Revolution l Boycotts • Women are principle consumers for household • “Spinning Bees” create homespun as symbol of patriotism l Wartime help • Traditional role as “Deputy husbands” while husband at war • Support roles in armed forces woodcut: of a patriot women
Women in the Revolution Ø Dominant idea of womanhood that emerges – l “Republican Motherhood”: women’s function in society is to raise patriotic republican sons Columbia and Washington, unknown artist, (1800 -1810).
Women in the Revolution Ø Abigail Adams Hope after the Revolution… “Remember the Ladies” l “If you complain of neglect of Education in sons, What shall I say with regard to daughters, who every day experience the want of it. With regard to the Education of my own children, I find myself soon out of my depth, and destitute and deficient in every part of Education. ” Abigail Adams in a letter to her husband, John Adams, August 14, 1776 Portrait of Abigail Adams after a painting by Benjamin Blythe
Women in the Revolution Legal status post. Revolution Ø Positives: • Voting - NJ only state to allow unmarried women to vote (not dependent) • Divorce laws loosened - especially PA & New England Woodcut of Women Casting Votes in New Jersey Image: © Bettmann/CORBIS Date Created: ca. 1850 -1899 Location Information: New Jersey, USA
Cult of Domesticity Ø Cult of Domesticity: l Women and men naturally suited to separate spheres • home: Private Sphere • Work: Public Sphere l Creates ideas about female vs male “nature” • Women naturally more gentle, emotional, pure, pious, submissive • Men more aggressive, rational “No time for Politics” The Gibson Girl began appearing in the 1890 s and was the personification of the feminine ideal of beauty portrayed by the satirical pen-and-ink illustrations of illustrator Charles Dana Gibson
Cult of True Womanhood Article Ø 3: Things You Learned Ø 2: Things You already Knew Ø 1: OMG I can’t believe that!
Cult of Domesticity Ø Why? l l l Industrial revolution separate men & women’s work, disrupt families It becomes women’s job to keep family “pure” and perfect Exceptions – working class women and slaves Strike by Boris Mihajlovic Kustodiev Image: © The Gallery Collection/Corbis Creator Name: Boris Mihajlovic Kustodiev Date Created:
Cult of Domesticity Ø Consequences: l Positive: • Greater access to education for women l Founding of women’s schools • Ex. Mount Holyoke, Harford Female Seminary Mt. Holyoke College Postcard Image: © Lake County Museum/CORBIS Date Created: ca. 1900
Cult of Domesticity Ø Consequences: l Positive: • Publications – Catherine Beecher’s Treatise on Domestic Economy • Women’s magazines – Godey’s Ladies Book "Godey's Fashions for January 1868" Catalog Illustration with Bridal Dresses from Godey's Lady's Book Image: © Cynthia Hart Designer/CORBIS Photographer: Cynthia Hart Date Photographed: 2001 Date Created: 1868
Cult of Domesticity Ø Consequences: l Positive: • Work – Teaching – women enter workforce in “common schools” • “Mill Girls” – textile mills Exterior of Boott Cotton Mill Original caption: Exterior view of the Boott Cotton Mills at Lowell, Massachusetts. Undated engraving. Image: © Bettmann/CORBIS Location Information: Lowell, Masschusetts
Cult of Domesticity Ø Consequences: l Negative: • Limited access to professions (law, medicine) as against women’s delicate “nature” • Segregation of public life l Ex. 4 th of July celebrations People Watching Fireworks from Lahaina Harbor Image: © Jon Hicks/Corbis Photographer: Jon Hicks Date Photographed: July 5, 2007 Location Information: Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, USA
Antebellum Women & Reform Ø Reform movements as springboard for women’s rights l l Women move from being moral forces in homes to moral forces in society Teaches women public speaking, leadership, organizing, fundraising • Utopians (ex. Ann Lee) • Grimke Sisters, Harriet Beecher Stowe • Temperance (pg 147), Abolition, Suffrage, Mentally Insane Harriet Beecher Stowe The American author Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 -96). She became famous for her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) and her most popular books deal with New England life. Image: © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS Photographer: Notman Date Photographed: ca. 1850 -60 Location Information: United States
Women’s rights Movement REVOLUTIONARY REHOTRIC! Ø Play off the D. of. I… “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men & WOMEN are created equal. ” Ø Emerges out of abolitionism & growing level of female education l Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Lucretia Mott l 1848 Seneca Falls Convention l Declaration of Sentiments • Suffrage • Property rights • Divorce and child custody Eizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Original caption: Susan B. Anthony (1820 -1906) and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 -1902), founders of The National Woman Suffrage Association, are shown seated together at small table. Sarony photograph circa 1881. Image: © Bettmann/CORBIS Photographer: Napoleon Sarony Date Photographed: ca. 1881
Women & Reform Ø Reform movements as springboard for women’s rights l But not in the South • These same beliefs not extended in South towards Southern women or slaves Butterfly Mc. Queen and Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind Original caption: Butterfly Mc. Queen is shown here as "Prissy" in David Selznick's production of Gone With The Winds, an MGM 1939 movie. At left is Vivien Leigh, as Scarlett O'Hara. Image: © Underwood & Underwood/CORBIS Date Photographed: 1939
Civil War & Women’s Rights Ø Changing expectations during wartime: l North • Organizations like Sanitary Commission, Red Cross • Women’s movement put on hold after war – it was African American men’s turn l Ex. 15 th Amendment Headquarters of the USSC in 1864 (Brady) ; http: //www. forttejon. org/ussc. html
Civil War & Women’s Rights Ø Changing expectations after the war: l Freed slaves • Women often wanted “cult of domesticity” but whites resisted loss of black women’s labor Freed Slave and Wife A freed slave and his wife living in a run-down plantation house in Greene County, Georgia. July 1937. Image: © CORBIS Photographer: Dorothea Lange Date Photographed: July 1937
Progressive Era Women Ø Jane Addams Ø Carry Nation Ø Dorothea Dix Ø Ida B Wells-Barnett Ø Hull House Ø WCTU Ø Mentally ill Ø Lynching Ø Child Labor Ø Labor Unions (LGWU)