28, Sept. 2018
In early America, gender roles and relations were drastically different than they are in today’s society. Women becoming more independent and equal to men is common nowadays. In the past women were seen as the caregivers who stayed home, cleaned, cooked, and cared for the children. The husband was seen as the breadwinner and provider. Although, in some instances we can see women and men throughout history challenge these typical gender roles and cause a ripple effect for future generations. Religions also plays a big part in gender roles within marriage. The time period greatly affects the structure of a marriage and the different roles the partners are expected to follow.
In the 1700s, marriage structure was followed in terms of the Puritan religion. This is evident in Benjamin Wadsworths doctrine titled A Well-Ordered Family. Written in 1712. “They should have a very great and tender love and affection to one another. This is plainly commanded by God.” Wadsworth believed that the husband was the “head” ordained by God to “rule and govern”. He argued that stability in a family was essential between husbands and wives to achieve social order.
Wadsworth words to the husbands of the community were that the husband’s government ought to be gentle and easy, and the wife’s obedience ready and cheerful. The husband is called the head of the woman. It belong to the head to rule and govern. Wives are a part of the house and family, and ought to be under the husband’s government. Though he governs her, he must not treat her as a servant, but as his own flesh: he must love her as as himself. Wadsworth was a very good spokes man and the use of his words made his incredibly rational, women weren’t fools, and although he didn’t have the opportunity to publicly speak the didn’t settle for less.
The Women's Movement did not focus its efforts solely on eliminating the legal disabilities attached to the marital vow; the Movement recognized that even single women could not exercise many of the basic rights to which all white men were entitled. All wom...