Posted: June 26th, 2022

HIST 170 American History


Elizabeth Freeman and the 2 primary sources listed below will show and compare the evolution of these concepts in the 19th, 20th and 21st century.

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The Wife Victory by Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth


Women hold a significant place in society and the world.

Women have suffered discrimination, torture, and agony in many countries.

Currently, countries around the globe are increasingly promoting the idea of equality for women.

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Women have achieved remarkable feats, including higher education and social status, as well as occupying key positions in the workplace.

Women are indeed on the right path to reach the pinnacle (Whyte, 2015).

There has been a significant difference in the timelines of the different centuries regarding women empowerment.

This essay will present the evolution of women’s concepts in the 19th, 20th, and 21st century. It will also take into account the facts in Elizabeth Freeman’s Marriage and Martha Ballard’s Midwife’s Diary.

Studying the literature pieces The Wife’s Victory and Midwife concerning the 19th century can yield a lot of interesting documentation.

Because of the glorious reign of Queen Victoria, this century is commonly known as the Victorian Age.

In the areas of professional, personal and social life, women were especially segregated from men.

They were expected to behave as docile, respectful, and compliant to their fathers, their husbands, and, when they reached retirement, their sons (Vicinus 2013,).

In that century, there was no job opportunity for women.

The society’s most vulnerable members often earned their living as housekeepers, house servants or governesses (“Southworth’s The Wife’s Victory”, 2017, Southworth).

The more affluent members of society were married into the aristocratic and noble families and were kept in their homes as wives and mothers.

The essence of marriage was, apparently, paramount (Vicinus 2013, 2013).

It can be said, in general, that women in 19th-century society were left at large and didn’t have much to do in society.

The Wife’s Victory and Midwife, three of the most important scholarly works on the subject of the emancipation or women’s rights, give us a glimpse into the history of this concept.

The 20th century saw many scientific and economic innovations.

A few members of society’s intelligentsia believed that women should have the same rights as men.

Few countries, such as New Zealand or the United States of America, have granted women the right to vote in their constitutions.

Slowly, women were allowed to work in various sectors including politics, defense, and civil service.

The importance of marriage was also still prominent in the society (Martha Ballard’s Diary Online, 2017).

All the top-profile international social affairs were becoming more visible to women.

A second important point worth mentioning is the birth-control pill. This made it possible for women to be independent and carefree.

This was no doubt a miracle.

If we compare the 20th century with the 19th, it is clear that women’s conceptions have improved significantly.

Elizabeth Freeman’s scholarly article Marriage gives us a glimpse at the current status of women in society and the world today (Freeman 2017, Freeman 2017).

Today, women can choose to follow any career or lead a life she likes without fear of social rejection or derision.

There is still some intolerance in society towards women (Dicker Rory and Alison 2016, respectively).

Women can still make the same progress as men if they have access to higher education and are exposed to all aspects of society.

In the 21st century, the notion of marriage being the only option for women is rapidly changing.

Women are also marrying men of other races with great success (Wetchler Joseph and Lorna L 2014).

Women excel in every sphere of life, from politics to bioscope to sports.

It can be said that women are influential and formidable in the 21st Century.

The conclusion can be summarized as follows: the evolution of women over the past three centuries has been dramatic and significant.

In the 19th century, women were continually subjugated by social Puritanism or conservatism.

They were severely restricted in their speech and movement rights and subject to surveillance.

Women around the globe were able to breathe a sigh of relief with the advent of the 19th and 21st centuries.

Women have finally achieved independence, excellence, and eminence after years of oppression, repression, and this is despite the fact that they had suffered for so many years.

Postfeminism’s illusions: New women, old myths

Dicker, Rory and Alison Piepmeier (eds.

Catching a Wave: Reclaiming Feminism for the 21st Century.

Northeastern University Press 2016.

Martha Ballard’s Diary Online.

Southworth’s The Wife’s Victory.

A Widening Sphere (Routledge Revivals).: Changing Roles for Victorian Women.

Suffer and Be Still (Routledge Revivals).: Women in Victorian Age.

Joseph L. Wetchler and Lorna L. Hecker, eds.

A guide to family therapy and marriage.

Martin King, Martin Whyte.

Preindustrial society: The position of women.

Princeton University Press 2015.

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