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Rachel-K
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Roles of Women

We have now had a small window into the lives of a few generations of women in this small area of Massachusetts, from Deliverance to Patty, and from Sophia to Connie.

 

How have women's roles changed?  How have women's rights and expectations changed?What has stayed the same through the generations?

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candeny6
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Re: Roles of Women

The thing that has stayed the same through the generations is that they all seem to continue to be put down my male authority figures in their lives. 
Candi
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Bonnie824
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Re: Roles of Women

Reading history is always a good reminder of why women had to fight for equality and why the "good old days" were not really that good for many/most women.
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booksJT
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Re: Roles of Women

Yes the roles of women have changed for the better. In the 1600's women were just there to reproduce and take care of the family. Women steppping out that role was considered witches because it wasn't normal for women to know more than a man. Women expect more because they know they are no longer second class citizens. Women are more educated and able to support their families without any help from men. The thing that has stayed the same is that men  make more money in the same job positions.
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eadieburke
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007

Re: Roles of Women

Roles of women in Colonial times consisted of: homemaking, cooking, making clothing, doctoring, cleaning, making household goods to sell, taking care of animals, maintaining a fire and kitchen gardens.

 

Today, the saying "A woman's work is never done" is still true. We have full time and part time jobs away from the home and still need to cook, clean, take care of animals and based upon our life styles many other chores. It is true that modern conveniences have made our jobs easier but we are still very, very busy.

 

Of course, the fact that women are able to vote since 1920 is definitely one of the biggest changes. Needless to say - a woman running for president would have been unbelievable in the past.

 

Today, many jobs held only by men in the past are held by women today but the compensation is a lot different according to whether a man or a woman is doing the job.

 

Woman really have to prove themselves a lot more depending on the job and if she fails the likelihood of someone saying, "Well, what do you expect - she's a woman!" is much greater.

 

I do think that a lot more people are realizing the benefits from a woman being involved. First of all, I think there are a lot a differences in the way a man and a woman approach problems. Their thought processes are entirely different and therefore you get a more rounded solution to the problem when both sexes are involved.

 

 

 

 

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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DSaff
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Re: Roles of Women

One of the things that has changed is that today more women work outside of their homes than are able to stay home with the children. Each time period has its challenges - i.e. managing time. I think that women have always wanted to learn to do new things, to reach for new experiences, but our time in Salem shows them more keepers at home than "students." Women today can do just about anything, train for just about anything. But, women still tend to be the keepers at home. Yes, we do have stay at home dads and men who share the load at home, but for the majority, it seems to fall on the women. The women from Salem had the expectation that their husbands would take care of providing for them. While many still look for that today, more of us are working outside our homes to help pay the bills.

 

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
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dhaupt
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Roles of Women

I think that women's roles throughout our little time frame have changed dramatically the women of today are more respected outside of their family where as yesteryear's women were respected by their family and a few members of their intimate circle, also the women of the past were subjected to the superstitions of their community where as today a woman like Deliverance might be referred to as eccentric or even if she's considered a witch she's not persecuted for it, today's society is more tolerant of differences in people.

 

I think the thing that has stayed the same throughout time is that women are still and always will be the heart of the family. 

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CathyB
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Registered: ‎12-30-2006

Re: Roles of Women

In the past, women were seen as objects and property. They were expected to submit to the will of their father and upon marriage, the will of their husband. A woman was not as educated as a man, usually did not have a job outside of raising the children, keeping the home and if available minimal farm work. A woman who defied this way of thinking was frowned upon.

 

Today women are 'equal' with men in many respects. They can have the same jobs and join the military; however, full equality has yet to be achieved. In the workplace, the 'good old boys' environment is still seen. Women are not paid the same as a man with equivalent education, job experience, years on the job, etc.... Women who are assertive and headstrong are seen as the 'b*cth'; whereas, a man is seen as confident, etc....

 

Women still have the majority of the domestic responsibilities - on average.

 

A woman's expectations can become reality in this day and age. Dreams can come true - with the necessary hardwork to make them happen.

 

CathyB

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DebsScott
Posts: 245
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Roles of Women

Ha Ha!  It's funny, the other day I had to bite my tongue at work when my MALE boss remarked that we women shouldn't be lifting things like computer monitors...that is a job for MEN!  Oooo...I could have gone off on a rant.

 

Throughout history there have been women who have fought wars, ruled countries and conquered even the strongest warrior.  Somewhere that changed and women were placed beneath men and thought to be nothing more than property who could not even inherit their father's or husband's estates.  We were nothing more than bond slaves and brood mares to men.  If a woman dared to even try to make something of herself, she faced being shunned by society and possibly even prison...or being accused of witchcraft.

 

The tide is turning though and we are once again taking command of our own lives by becoming educated, building our own niche in society and politics and taking charge of who we are and what we want to be...from a stay-at-home mom (which I was for eight years) to corporate executives to leaders of countries.  We are gaining strength and power and one day we will truely be equal.

 

Wow, that makes me wanna go burn my bra!

 

As far as the domestic front is concerned, I do see men taking on more of that role and shouldering some of the responsibility for the running of the household and raising of the children.  As a preschool teacher/director I see many dads bringing in their children to the school and making sure their child is clean, fed and properly dressed (one dad even does ponytails and braids!). 

 

My husband and I joke about our non-traditional role reversal we have in our home.  He does the shopping and the cooking and I do the yard work and the home maintenance.  He collects cookware and I collect power tools!   

~Debs~
"And now Harry, let us go out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure."
~Professor Albus Dumbledore
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PiperMurphy
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Re: Roles of Women

I'm not sure that the women in this book fit the stereotypical roles of women for their times. They are all widows, up to Connie (sorry I don't remember what happened to Grace's husband), who lost their husbands at a fairly early age. They seem to be comfortable being single women. They are self-reliant, self-sufficient, and capable. They had to deal with a male dominated world, just as Connie has to put up with Chilton. Actually, I think they are behaving like modern women.
"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
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Thayer
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Re: Roles of Women

The roles of women become somewhat muddled when religion is factored in. The Puritan beliefs, as with some various churches today, have very defined, and arguably antiquated views on the roles of women in regard to dress and demeanor, as well as roles within the household, society and within the church itself.

 

 Connie defines witchcraft as "more than anything it represented people, and especially women, trying to take too much power into their own hands." The roles of women (or lack thereof) in religion/biblical history underscore this valid point.  Great strides have been made over the years, but there are still glaring omissions. 

~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
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candeny6
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Re: Roles of Women

I have what some might call "old-fashioned" ideas of what a woman's role is.  I think it is the woman/mother/wife's job to do certain things.  If there is a meal to clean up or something to clean, I feel it's my job to do it.  I think we were created with the need to care for others.  I'm not against turning down help or asking my husband to fold laundry, but I feel the bulk of housework should fall on female shoulders.
Candi
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Sassy398
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Re: Roles of Women

Actually, the women's roles have come along way, but are somewhat the same.

The difference being ,is basically women from the past weren't allowed to express

 themseleves freely as they can today.

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Roles of Women

Today, women no longer define themselves simply as mothers and homemakers. They see themselves as professionals and trailblazers as well as caregivers and nurturers. The trick is the balancing act because not everyone in the world supports them in their endeavors.
Sometimes, being from an older generation, I wonder what the long term effects will be on future generations. Many children are no longer raised by their parents, for the most part, but rather by surrogates. How will this effect their parenting in the future for their children? Will family structures change further?

twj

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ponie
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Re: Roles of Women


thewanderingjew wrote:

Today, women no longer define themselves simply as mothers and homemakers. They see themselves as professionals and trailblazers as well as caregivers and nurturers. The trick is the balancing act because not everyone in the world supports them in their endeavors.
Sometimes, being from an older generation, I wonder what the long term effects will be on future generations. Many children are no longer raised by their parents, for the most part, but rather by surrogates. How will this effect their parenting in the future for their children? Will family structures change further?

twj


 

I, too, am older :smileyhappy: as in all my children are grown and about to have children of their own. :smileyvery-happy:  You pose an interesting question to ponder. Without getting into it in any depth, I'll just say here that I do believe it will effect their parenting and I do believe family structures are, and will continue to change and not all for the better.:smileysad:

 

It is a complicated, multi-layered issue.  Without (re)education and intervention (if needed) one tends to parent as they were parented, so I guess if you had some good "surrogating" then OK...but it's hard to replicate a good loving parent.  Granted if you are being raised by an "awful" (abusive/neglectful/irresponsible) parent, then a loving surrogate would be better...but still, there's something about the parent/child bond that is important and hard to replace.  We spend a lot of our lives trying to get it right (or corrected or improved).

 

And by the way I think that is what Connie and Grace are doing.  Connie wants a better relationship with her mom.  And I think Grace has given it more than a pssing thought how she was with her mother and how she wants to be and is with Connie.

 

I advocate parenting classes for all!!  Did I mention I was a parenting coach???:smileywink:

 

For someone that wasn't going to get into it I certainly got into it!!  This could be a thread all by itself!!!!!  But we have enough threads thank you very much!!!  I'm keeping up :smileyvery-happy:  but it borders on obsession!

ponie
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thewanderingjew
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Re: Roles of Women

I agree, the issue is complicated. My daughter's friend kept her nanny, even though in her words she treated her son like a potted plant, because she was happy she wasn't abusing him.That is not a good criteria for a nanny or a surrogate. Maybe we need more people like you who can teach parents and their surrogates what qualities and experience should be expected of a child caregiver. Certainly they are our most precious possessions and they are our future. We owe them our best feet forward.
twj
ponie wrote:

It is a complicated, multi-layered issue.  Without (re)education and intervention (if needed) one tends to parent as they were parented, so I guess if you had some good "surrogating" then OK...but it's hard to replicate a good loving parent.  Granted if you are being raised by an "awful" (abusive/neglectful/irresponsible) parent, then a loving surrogate would be better...but still, there's something about the parent/child bond that is important and hard to replace.  We spend a lot of our lives trying to get it right (or corrected or improved).


edited by twj....I advocate parenting classes for all!!  Did I mention I was a parenting coach???:smileywink:

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emmagrace
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Re: Roles of Women

A lot of things have changed since the 1600's! Women can vote, work outside of the home etc...

 

There are still many things that have stayed the same. Women still are expected to take care of their family and their homes no matter if they go to school or have careers! Some people still think that women should not work in some fields and that will most likely never change.

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aprilh
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Re: Roles of Women


Sassy398 wrote:

Actually, the women's roles have come along way, but are somewhat the same.

The difference being ,is basically women from the past weren't allowed to express

 themseleves freely as they can today.


 

You're absolutely right. Women today are more able to say what's on their mind while women of even fifty years ago (maybe not even that long ago) would never have dreamed of doing that. Women now are able to stand up against their husbands if they are being abused in some way whereas women back then felt they had no choice but to suffer in silence.
April
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Adeline79
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Re: Roles of Women

Why is it that so many historical fiction books I have read lately feature a independent female protagonist no matter what historical period they are set in? I do enjoy these books, but can't help but wonder how realistic it is. In our society and contemporary time, we highly value confidence and independence in women, but in other societies and times the goal was for women to be submissive. In many cases the women themselves were aiming for that, not just forced into it by the men. I would love to see a good historic novel that featured a submissive female and really got into her thought processes. Does anyone know of a book like that? 
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Immortal-Spirit
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Re: Roles of Women

This may be off topic, but I found it very interesting and refreshing that the women - from Delieverance to Connie don't seem to fall into the sterotypical women of their time.  They are strong willed, and seem to take control of their lives (to some extent.) 

 

What I found was the differences inbetween Deliverance to Connie was more of a religious change.  In the early times, religion played a much more role in their life. Thier lives were surrounded by their faith.  Whereas, in Connie's time, it is less so.  Even non-existant.