If Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott were able to attend the abolitionist conference in 1840 would the women’s movement never begin? The answer is no. Women were craving for a change in their lives; this was just a catalyst for one specific movement. Seneca Falls in any shape or form would occur as the growing anticipation for change in the public sphere. The American People Reader includes primary resources like the popular magazine, “Godey’s Lady’s Book” which showcases domestic ideology through the lens of men. On the other hand, the novel The Bonds of Womanhood by Nancy Cott demonstrates the grasp the private sphere held on women. Although women like Stanton and Mott were on the brink of revolutionizing America, many of their
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Moreover, shaping the future is a role that allowed women to further their prospects in other directions. Their role in creating the household was ultimately believed to be not only for the improvement of society, but also for the glory of God, himself. As such, women needed to be fully equipped for the huge responsibility at hand. The Editor’s Table in Godey’s Lady’s Book speaks of how though women were “endowed with moral goodness superior to that possessed by man,” they still need education to fully harness this trait. Education is seen as a necessary requirement for marriage as it helps her better her husband, family and society.
The only education allocated for women other than in the arts is one for household. Godey’s Lady’s Book even goes so far as to say as many of this is unimportant because women will not go into these trades. For example, they will not become sculptors or painters. It goes on to point out the unwavering qualities of women, such as selflessness and pious; it maintains, however, the best quality found is a wife is obedience. Listening to a man was considered the highest degree of importance. If a woman held higher morality and footing in the private sphere surely she should be destined for callings greater than serving a man.
Knowledge is a great resource and if she able to aid her husband in reasoning, reflecting and judging she is capable of using these skills in other forms of learning and growing. It is