The Rise of Feminism in The Industrial Revolution Essay

1369 Words 6 Pages
Throughout history, women of all classes have often been subordinate to men, adopting positions of companionship and support rather than taking leadership roles. In the 19th century England, a patriarchal society, presumed that “females were naïve, fragile, and emotionally weak creatures who could not exist independently of a husband or a father’s wise guidance.” It was until the Industrial Revolution that lower class women were able to find jobs in factories and become more independent from their households and husbands. Even then, their jobs were harsh and they were often underpaid compared to their male counterparts. Emma Paterson, the leader of the Women’s Trade Union once said, “Not only are women frequently paid half or less than …show more content…
Even if they were allowed to work, they usually helped with their husband’s businesses and played minor roles. The few women who remained single often left home to become servants, where they helped both domestically and industrially. It was illegal for women to become specialized in certain fields such as medicine except midwifery. Women occupied the lowest jobs such as being carers for hospitals, infirmaries, poor houses and orphanages. Women also made most of the low profit items such as brushes, combs, candles, soap, brooms, and were not threats to craftsmen’s status. The fact that women were given the worst jobs in the market showed how men thought of women as incapable of being independent and thereby relied heavily on their husbands. Even after the Industrial Revolution began, this stereotype was still often applied to women. The Industrial Revolution brought rapid changes to the landscapes of both rural and urban areas. As a Victorian named Thackers described it, “It was only yesterday; but what a gulf between now and then! Then was the old world. Stage coaches, more or less swift, riding-horses, pack-horses, highway-men, knights in armour…But your railroad starts the new era, and we of a certain age belong to the new time and the old one…We are of the age of steam.” The creation of factories often

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