In “,” Barbara Welter presents the variousvirtues that women needed to have in the nineteenth century.According to the author, there were four main attributes that a womanneeded to possess in order to be seen as a true woman in society.Women were expected to demonstrate piety or righteousness, purity,submissiveness, and domesticity (Welter 4). Women were not supposedto participate in some activities such as working or providing forthe family. The author has expounded on the various attributes thatwomen need to have.
According to Barbara, religion or piety was a right of women. Itdoes not take away the other virtues such as submissiveness anddomesticity. Religion is also said to be the source of a woman’sstrength, and, therefore, women need to have it in order to havestrength. Another fact that the author has pointed out is aboutpurity. The absence of purity was considered unfeminine and unnatural(Welter 2). Considering that women without purity were viewed asbelonging to a lower order, it was necessary for women to retaintheir purity. Another fact is that women were passive in nature,submissive and their role was to instill religion and moral in men.
The article has several insights into gender functions in thenineteenth century. It can be learned that women are more pure andholy than men, and they hold the families together. Further, the roleof social change due to events such as World War I has shown that theroles of women have been changing. Many women are now participatingin activities that were previously believed to be for men. I believethat the women described in this article were subjected to inhumanand demeaning statuses. I think that women are equal to men and theyshould be given equal opportunities. The idea that women should bedenied education so that it does not interfere with their purity isunacceptable. Women require education and participation in thebuilding of the society.
Welter, Barbara. The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860. 1966.Print. Pdf.