The position of women in the past always remained a questionable issue. For instance, it is known that women used to be oppressed by the idea of a male-dominated world. Females were forced into marriage, were not allowed into the academic world, and were deprived of many privileges given to men. The period of Romanticism brought several changes to women’s lives, and it is essential to examine these shifts to understand what opportunities women had and what obstacles they faced.
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For women, the Romantic era gave a small opportunity to receive an education. Men always dominated the academic sphere; however, by the end of the 18th century, females started to get basic skills such as reading and writing (Berg, 2019). However, despite this opportunity, those women who made significant scientific discoveries were still undervalued as the idea of male superiority remained in the era of Romanticism. It forced women to conceal their names and work under pseudonyms or anonymously.
Another change is women’s authority related to household and real estate. Historians found evidence that some women were heads of households, which is unusual for females of previous centuries (Sarasua, 2018). It means that some females were given the right to hold and own real estate. However, there is another challenge; almost all women stayed dependent on their husbands, and they could lose their houses in case of their husband’s death. A small percentage of females possessed their property because, in most cases, it belonged to men.
Overall, women of the Romantic period received a degree of educational and household freedom. They could receive primary education and receive a chance to possess real estate. Indeed, the world of the Romantic period remained male-dominated, and females had to suffer from men’s general oppression. It manifested in all spheres of life, including academic, political, and social. The opportunities for women of the 18th century remained still minimal compared to the privileges of males.
Sarasua, C. (2018). Women’s work and structural change: Occupational structure in eighteenth‐century Spain. The Economic History Review, 72(2), 481–509. Web.
Berg, G. A. (2019). The rise of women in higher education: How, why, and what’s next. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.