Essay On The Cult Of True Womanhood

Words: 1529
Pages: 7

During the period of Reconstruction, the United States consolidated the federal government, redefined citizenship, underwent economic transformation, and affirmed white supremacy. These changes set the stage for political, economic, and social inequalities that developed and existed in many aspects of society during the Gilded Age. As a result, contemporaries of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era identified inequality as a problem because inequality prevented women from attaining full citizenship due to disenfranchisement, trampled the working class with unfair wages and unsafe working conditions due to the growth of big business, and highlighted white supremacy as a driving factor in Imperialism and immigration. The rapid growth of big business combined with laissez faire government created massive inequality during the Gilded Age. A laissez faire …show more content…
The Cult of True Womanhood is essentially a mood that related true womanhood with virtue, purity, piety, domesticity, and submissiveness. American men used this attitude towards women to restrain women from getting involved in politics. During this time, there was a common belief that industrialization made men feminine. With the switch from manual labor on the frontier to office jobs, working class men felt a loss of masculinity. Therefore, men fought to preserve their masculinity by imposing the Cult of True Womanhood which closely corresponded with Muscular Christianity. Muscular Christianity attempted to counteract the changing status of women by de-feminizing men and encouraging men to go to gyms. Men maintained keeping women out of politics by using the above claims to deny women the right to vote. Denying women this right furthered the inequality between the sexes and conveyed that women are not fully privileged citizens of the United