The Cult of True Womanhood


The "Cult of True Womanhood" has greatly influenced society throughout
all of America\'s history. This set of standards was first accepted and practiced
by all of the European colonies. They were then passed through the generations
and, in many cases, still exist. I\'ll describe the essay, "The Cult of True
Womanhood," and discuss my views on it. I\'ll then illustrate how these standards
are still present in today\'s society.
First, I\'ll discuss the essay. It\'s easiest to describe this essay if I
begin by defining "The Cult of True Womanhood." As I stated the introduction, it
is a set of standards. These principles create and have created a strong
division between the genders, and therefore, caused tension. Basically, it
states that men are to work and make money for the family. A woman\'s goal was to
find a husband and have children. Women were also expected to have four main
cardinal virtues - piety, purity, submissiveness, and domestication. Piety is,
basically, grace. Women were to expected to always be dainty and lovely. Purity
speaks for itself. Women were expected to stay abstinent until marriage.
Submissiveness means that the woman should, once married to a man, completely
devote herself to him, carrying out his every wish within her power. One very
powerful sentence in the essay well represents the woman\'s goals and values well
according to "The Cult of True Womanhood." It states, "Marriage improves the
female character, not only because it puts her in the best possible tuition,
that of the affections, and affords scope to her active energies, but because it
gives her higher aims, and a more dignified position." In my opinion, this means
that marriage improves a woman\'s mindset, gives her direction, and gives her
more motivation to do her daily chores. If you take this and attempt to apply it
to the current society, you\'ll find that it is extremely wrong, but not quite
completely. The last virtue, domesticity, means that a woman is to be a
housewife, to stay at home. This is my explanation of the essay, "The Cult of
True Womanhood."
The Cult has effected today\'s society greatly. We are currently battling
many gender issues that were initiated by these standards. The primary issue is
gender discrimination. For instance, a woman may not be hired by a construction
company because the owner believes that it\'s "man\'s work." Another issue
concerning work is wages. Many women have avoided being rejected for a job
position. However, some then notice that a man doing the same work for the same
company is getting up to 35 percent more wages. One point I\'d like to bring up
also is politics. In the past, women have stayed out of office due to the Cult.
Now, some women are accusing the government of sexism. However, I don\'t believe
that this is why women aren\'t in office. Look how many women are running for
president or governor this year. Most people base their votes on the potential
of the candidates. I know I will. These are some effects the Cult has had on
today\'s society.
The "Cult of True Womanhood" has been a strong influence on America\'s
history. We may not a agree with it, but it definitely exists, and we must deal
with it.

Category: Social Issues