The Between Reality And Perception Essay

1323 Words Sep 27th, 2016 6 Pages
Generally, it is assumed that women were politically inactive prior to the fight for suffrage. This view is readily accepted, given that women 's activism was often unrecorded or unheard. Another contributing factor to this narrative is the privatization of women 's efforts, and the carefully selected causes they supported. Closer examinations of the charity work and acts of benevolence amongst women in the nineteenth century reveal political savvy and an in-depth understanding of how to navigate the public sphere. The disconnect between reality and perception emerges from the methods in which women used to pursue their interests. Politics was not associated with women of that time by choice, the distinct dissociation between their activities from the masculine and polluted connotation of the government.
Barbara Welters assessed the values and ideals of women in the nineteenth century, surmising there were four traits perceived to be inherent to a “True Woman,” in her analysis on gender roles in both self identity and identity within the community. According to Welters, “The attributes of True Womanhood, by which a woman judged herself and was judged by… could be divided into four cardinal virtues-piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity.” Piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity were measuring sticks of appropriate behavior, and to leave the confines of those core values would have meant self damnation. To be vocally, intentionally politically active would have…

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