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Society never imagined the impact Domestic (DI) and Free-Labor Ideologies (FLI) had in American men and women. The new gender ideologies benefitted both genders on the long run. Domestic Ideologies and Free-Labor Ideologies were the new principles that change in the 19th century for males and females. The DI, are the principles expected from females as far as the domestic work since it alleged for women to belong at home. FLI were the principles for men. Men ideologies also changed with modernization. Modernization and the changing nature of work had an impact in these new changes in ideologies through the expansion of market economy. Gender roles for both, men and women remained viewed different by society. The gender roles became more defined. For example, it resulted more common to see more females working (aside from their domestic duties) and for both in the relationship to contribute to the home. Due to all these factors of Domestic Ideologies and Free-Labor Ideologies there has been a positive outcome in our society. It benefitted both in the relationship by being able to bring an income to the home. Society in the nineteen-centuries were the ones to first experience these changes which at that time might of seem positive or negative to some. Overall and in the long run DI and FLI give rise to a positive development for both genders. Most of the major principles of these new ideologies have resulted more positive than negative. In DI the principles are the idea that women are supposed to remain pure and virtuous until marriage which also means that women should have morals and high expectations.
Form Godey’s Lady’s Book, women are responsible for the family’s values and morals. Especially, because as the other principle stated, women were the families moral center. Prior to the 19th century, the main purpose considered for a women was to raise children. In Antebellum Women the Author remarks, “Child’s work powerfully presents domesticity as woman’s “calling” one for which she should be trained” (pg.103). Society automatically believed that women should be trained since childhood and become nurturing and caring to take care of their future children. Many believed that women belong at home and besides raising children they should responsible for the domestic labor. With the new ideologies’ things changed; women could work but they could only work from home. Most women had the opportunity to work as writers and publishing newspapers; but all this work had to be done at home while attending their domestic duties. Too, it was acceptable for women to pursue an education. This benefitted females because they could become independent and not depend on a man. It was believed that women were physically and mentally weak and this change gave women the opportunity to prove society wrong. One of the most positive outcomes of these ideas was the principle that women had bodily control, this means that women had a choice of how many children they want to have. However, one negative aspect was known to be that not every woman benefitted form DI; it was mainly for the middle-class women.
The principles of FLI also created positive changes to men. Men also had the opportunity to attain an education and become professionals. Social mobility and independence were a key aspect in FLI; it was expected from men to create opportunities for themselves to move up in social status and be independent. If a man wanted to marry a woman, he had to first prove to the women’s father that he is able to support his future wife. One important principle that could be crucial for their reputation and success was to be self -control. It was not acceptable for men to visit places like brothels. If men could not control themselves and were seen in such places their reputation in the work field and for women was damage. Society will not view them the same as respectable men and jobs would not hire them and affect their financial success. Also, women would not consider them as a partner. Self-control is also a way to avoid any kind of STD’s. Cases existed of married men that could not control their sexual desires and look for a woman just for sex. Some men would even get infected with a disease and then pass it on to their wife. As it is specified by Amy Galusha in a letter to her brother Leland she mentions, “I think of you a great deal and tremble for youre welfare for many a boy has been ruined by keeping bad company” (pg.119).
To have self-control is to be aware of the people around us. Many young men do not think of the consequences when they look to be accompanied by women’s in a brothel. Aside from self-control FLI also consisted of self-improvement and equal opportunity. Men had the same/equal opportunities as others to work and study, but it was their responsibility to better themselves and be successful. What to make out of their opportunities was their choice. The principles of these new ideologies influence reactions to Helen Jewett’s murder by judgmental opinions about her lifestyle. There were those who attacked her when they found out after her death that she was a prostitute; a prostitute did not meet the principles of the DI’s. She was no longer consider pure after being with many men. However, there were people who would justify her actions. They believed that she had been seduced and dragged into this lifestyle. Her murder became a fascination to many especially because she was different to other prostitutes. Helen Jewett was also known because she was self-educated, and she liked to read. These principles also influenced reactions towards Richard P. Robinson’s trial because he also failed to meet the principles of FLI. However, People were tougher on Helen Jewett, her name was the center of attention on all newspapers and it seem like everyone just forgot about Richard P. Robinson. All that was emphasized about Robinson was his family background. Society only cared that Richard P. Robinson came from a wealthy family. “Richard Robinson’s Connecticut father owned many parcels of land and served eight terms in the state legislature” (Cohen, pg.11). Even though his behavior showed a lack of self-control when he visit the brothel, people only focused on the positive facts about Robinson. Only if Helen Jewett had a wealthy and respectable family that could have protected her.
I believe that Domestic Ideologies and Free-Labor Ideologies had a positive impact in the development for American men and women because these ideologies were an advantage to both gender roles development. In DI, one major outcome in my opinion that was positive is the bodily control. After women were able to have control over their bodies and deciding if they want to have children or how many children they want, there was a noticeable decrease on birthrate. Ever since then, us women have taken advantage of those benefits, even in present days. Along with that, education was a factor on women having a say on their bodies. Education permitted them to be independent and not depend on men as well as having knowledge.I also agree that the new principals of FLI have benefitted men in a positive manner. It has taught men to be successful. Even though society does not account for men for institutional barriers of being successful; for example, the obstacles they have experienced, the families they come from (poor or wealthy), they still have an equal opportunity to better themselves.
According to Horatio Alger, Jr., Mr. Whitney shares, “I entered a printing-office as an apprentice and worked for some years. Then my eyes gave out and I was obliged to give that up. After a while I was lucky enough to invent a machine, which has brought me in a great deal of money” (pg.4). When given the opportunity one must take advantage and make something out of it to be successful. Always try to improve in what you do and in society. One ideology that helped both gender roles was that since women were permitted to work there was a growth in the number of women providing economically for their family’s wellbeing as well and has resulted economically and emotionally healthier for the family. It has also transformed the father’s role in the home by being more involved with the family’s responsibilities at home. Although DI and FLI had their pros and cons, there were more positive outcomes in American society about gender roles. Nowadays we appreciate some of these new ideologies.
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