In ancient times, man was regarded with higher superiority than women. This essay will emphasize the society setup in the nineteenth century, when there was a lot of variation in the social class of both men and women. Social norms required women to stay at homes to bear children, care about children, cook food and clean. Apart from all these household chores, they were also expected to sew, sing, dance, write, read and play the music. Many households had housemaids and the status was all to families. Men were assessed on the bases of the wealth they owned and they were all after women. Women were supposed to marry any man, who owned a lot of wealth and a comfortable home stead. This means that love was based on wealth that a man owned. Looking on this situation, we can ask a question: Does family background affect gender roles?
Who funded young ladies for their needs? Who made decisions regarding their career choice and their lifestyles? Can the ancient marriage and love be compared to modern marriage?
For example, considering the relationship between Jane Bennet and Mr.Bingley, Jane is in a very lower social class, in comparison to Bingley. Therefore, she had to match up to his social anticipations of what she look like or talk like. Although, he does not pronounce this being the caring and loving man, she gets to know it by social customs, rank and general gossip. Lastly, they marry with the approval of everybody around them and every person can observe that they are very much in love with each other. The marriage places Jane in an unbelievable situation; the man is good-looking, kind and caring. They are in love; moreover, he has a lot of wealth. The forces put on Jane as pointed out before are reduced from the satisfaction of her husband.
The essay places more emphasis on themes such as marriage and the gender role in marriage among others. A gender role can be briefly defined as a set of requirements that determine how women or men should feel or act. Gender roles play a significant role in the world of today and have throughout our past times. They decided whether a female in the colonial period would be allowed out of her homestead without her husband accompanying her or not. They were also the determining factor whether females should be able to join the labor force or not. Gender roles also determined who washed utensils and who trimmed fences, grass and so forth. Throughout the history, gender roles, either enforced by the society as a whole or created within the family set up, has distorted dynamics within the family and society. These customary gender roles pertains married life and marriage in broad.
The other theme under the women role is marriage. Marriage can be categorized under three broad groups. The first group is traditional home-maker/breadwinner type. Under this category, only the male marriage partner works, in order to provide for the family and his wife concerned with the home affairs. A good example of traditional marriage is Burr and Sarah Harrison. Burr worked as an attorney, cultivator and politician, in order to provide for family needs. He was often out for a long time, leaving his wife Sarah to cater for all of the domestic chores. She was expected to accomplish all the needs of her husband, to be the chief caregiver for their eight children, and supervise the work of the family servants, including supervising them in their duties and care for their aged parents.
Mixed type: The mixed type of marriage is a household, where the woman’s work is less absorbing than her husband’s, and thus, she resumes more of the domestic tasks and takes care for the kids.
In an egalitarian type family, both man and woman have equally absorbing job; domestic tasks and tending to children are shared on the equal basis. Due to recruitment of women in the workforce and other social alterations, people have preferred more egalitarian associations.
Marriage can also be classified on the basis of level of loyalty of each partner to the labor market, profession and hours of work for each partner. Furthermore, it can be ordered according the household responsibilities of each marriage partner, which may include childcare, lead and follower occupations, the feelings and words of the informants.
To some extent egalitarian interviewee had parents with a more democratic home, where her father resumed a big responsibility. In one way or the other, she may also want her husband to have the same attachment with their kids and that may, automatically, direct her toward an egalitarian marriage. The female interviewee, who was sternly engaged in egalitarian relationship, had parents with a customary marriage, who originate from Peru. Being the earliest generation born in the United States, she wants to be more “American” and has also studied several women’s courses, which have seriously affected her ideal for marriage. In this case, parents affect their children whether they set an example that their children want to follow or not.
Throughout the history of the western countries’ families, there is a proof of transfer in the range of gender roles. In the civil war, the concept of separated spheres appeared in a very conventional fashion of families. With industrialization and modernization, the family structure was no more a sole unit, working together in an agrarian society for continued survival, but instead the husband went to work and the wife stayed back at home to cater for children.
In the modern world, is it possible for a woman to get an employment? The answer is yes. The 1920’s made a noticeable difference as it marked the first sexual revolution, with many women entering in the workforce. The flappers were the figure of the independent female. The start of the great depression marked the end of this era, because these females were regarded as grabbing jobs away from jobless men.
The emphasis is put more on the effects of women’s gender roles, but what about the men? In the traditional family set up, the husband was seen as the sole family breadwinner. Nowadays, families where both parents work are very common.
Evidence shows that the new role of the husband in the household has not changed much. The wife is still doing a lot of the household chores. While males’ involvement has greatly increased, their involvement to household work is still only a quarter of their female marriage partners.
We found that many of the marriage choices were due to the understanding and not selection. Many people base their marriage choices on formal education, family settings, and religious attachment. People, who lean more on traditional marriage, are generally religious and prefer to get married at a tender age and to stick to customary gender roles. Individuals, who prefer mixed marriage type, value formal education. Generally, both of the partners are working in the workforce, until children are born. The egalitarian marriages valued formal education and the female’s self competence, while religious conviction had little or no impact on marriage. In the essay, some of these marriage choice approaches could be due to selection, all of the offspring were born and brought up in the middle-class families, which influences them to the determined style of parenting and makes them more professional and socially victorious. They are most likely to choose marriage partners in this way, leading to a mixed life style, which seems to be the admirable among our examples therein.
The significance of marriage in the lives of women, in the nineteenth century, may look complicated to the modern women. This is the case, because modern young woman have more freedom of choosing their marriage partners, have a choice of independent lifestyle, and also, follow the profession that pleases them the most. Comparing to the nineteenth century, if the woman was unmarried, she was to remain dependent on her parents, relatives and guardians and thus she received a little income from her father or other relations in order to support herself.
For example, in the case with Elizabeth, she is exceptionally dependent on her male parent, who provides for her needs. Her father is not only a bread winner to her, but also to mother and her sister. In the case with Mr. Bennet, who dies before they get married, they would all be under the mercy of their relatives: Mr. Gardiner, Mrs. Gardiner, Mr. Philips, Mrs. Philips, and also in one way or the other, under Mr. Collins. Since their homestead would be entailed to a remote relative pompus Collins. Such a point of “poverty” would be shameful as well as embarrassing.