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Women's History: Women's Role in Colonial Society

Women's History: Women's Role in Colonial Society

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Published by blakedinga439

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Published by: blakedinga439 on Jan 17, 2010
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History: Women in Colonial Society02/09/200917:35:00
Women in the colonial society
Early settlement
Importance of wifely obedience
The pros and cons of femininity
The spiritual ideal
Puritans and quakers: spiritual equalityQuaker women’sThe puritan ideal
Patriarchy Family
Men are the head.
Women’s main role is to be obedient.
Husband is the patriarch
Wife is always subordinate
Wife is the Jr. partner but never to over rule the husband
Husband does not own the wife but rules her
Wife wields some authority
Children
Servants
Children are legally the Fathers possession
 
These are all farming communities
Parenthood is a joint occupation
Mothers have more day to day responsibility but father has moreauthority
An individual’s gender had a direct impact on that person’s characterand place in society
Gender determines characterRationality was linked to specifically malesWomen were viewed as being lustful, vain, capricious, prone to hysteria,more prone to succumb to evil forces. (18
th
century)
Women were more modest by nature, cheerful, graceful, affectionate,sympathetic.
The women were told to cultivate the positive stereotypes to attractmen and to avoid the negative
The church was the only social institution in which women could step out of the patriarchal society.Women could be active members of the church community, thus womenembraced this as their opportunity to step outside of their bounds.New outlets for women are birthed through the puritan and quaker churchand women being spiritually equal.
 
The new view is that women and men are equal in view of God.Women relied on their spirituality to help them cope with their place in thepatriarchal society, especially during the immigration.Spiritual Individualism was a huge outlet for women.Mid 1700: quakers settled in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Egalitarianism of all members of society.
It is the start of an alternative role for women
This proposed a threat to society’s norm of womens role
Quakers: There were no professional minister’s
All duties were carried out by members of the church none werehired, all were equal.
This gave women unprecedented opportunities to step out of theirbounds.
Quakers believed anyone could receive salvation, inner light, andthis was reached inwardly not through another person.
Public Friend: Was like an official volunteer or guide to the Quakersbelief.
Women could even be “public friends” 
Public friends traveled from town to town and meeting to meetingsharing god’s work and word to other Quakers and quakerscommunities
George Fox: Founder of the Quakers
God makes no distinction between man or woman.
About 60 public friends traveled to share gods work: about ½ whichwere women who would proselytize this new doctrine upon other settlers.

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