Gender roles

Victorian gender roles were very conservative

During the Victorian era, women were considered inferior to men. Sarah Ellis, a writer of guidance books for women, puts the role of the Victorian woman this way:

“...woman, whose whole life, from the cradle to the grave, is one of feeling, rather than of action, whose highest duty is so often to suffer and be still, whose deepest enjoyments are all relative, who has nothing, and is nothing, of herself.” (The Daughters of England, 1845)

The quote portrays woman as emotional, passive, and only worth something through her relation to others (such as her role as daughter, mother, or wife). 

The ideals of separate spheres and the angel in the house

The Victorian view of gender roles was dominated by the idea of ‘separate spheres’, meaning different areas of life. The ...

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