The Evolving Role of Women in American History
The role of American women has changed significantly from the time the nation was born, to the modern era of the 1950s and 1960s. Many people, “… believed that women’s talent and energies … would be put to the better [use] in the new republic.” (Clinton 3) Clearly showing that society has seen the importance of the women’s talents and that their skills can be very useful, exploited this and thus, the change of the women’s role was inevitable. Society has understood that the roles of women played an important role on all parts of life.
To understand the significant change in the role of the women is to understand its roots. Traditionally, women in colonial America were limited in…show more content…The men were involved in clearing the land, plowing, digging ditches, fencing, building, and hunting. (Smith 30) This depicted women in the colonial period as weak and inferior compared to the men. The men handled duties that required strength and especially in outside occupations where this was most important. Women in colonial America were excluded from outside occupations because they were seen as weak and incapable to handle responsibilities beyond housework or the household.
“Throughout much of early American history, men and women were thought of as inhabiting different spheres. According to this philosophy, men spent most their time and energy outside the home. They worked, transacted financial affairs, participated in political matters, and concerned themselves with the world at large. Women, however, were expected to devote themselves to the domestic spheres–not only performing household chores but also imparting morals and virtues to their children and making home a peaceful sanctuary for their husbands. Many Americans believed that this distinct separation and balancing of gender roles was essential to the harmonious functioning of society.” (Bender 46) The “home is [woman’s] appropriate and appointed sphere of action.” (Bender 46) This philosophy, that was predominant throughout colonial and post-Revolutionary America, isolated women from having outside occupations as well as the pursuit of political opportunities, and most
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