Gender Roles In Colonial America

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Seventeenth-century Colonial America was a far different place than present-day America. Social norms, gender roles, race relations, etc. were all vastly different. Gender roles were especially different than it is in America today. Women today can vote, divorce, own land, run for office, join the military, and the list goes on. Also, a woman almost became the first female US president in the last presidential election. Back in seventeenth-century Colonial America, all those rights that women have today did not exist. Women were far less superior than men. They typically stayed in the house and helped take care of the kids. They could not vote or do basically anything. The roles of women in Colonial America consisted of maintaining household …show more content…
Women in seventeenth century Colonial America were far less superior than men. They could not vote, own land or property, work outside the house, run for a political office, and the list goes on. Women were supposed to be the “property” of men. “A woman’s identity and property were always connected with the men in her life. Upon marriage, her identity and property then transferred to her husband” (“Gender and Sexuality in Colonial America”). Women were supposed to help the men in their lives at home. They took care of the household while they were gone. It was the man’s house. In the northern colonies, the man owned the house even when he died but that happened rarely because of “longevity of the New Englanders” (Kennedy 80). But in the southern colonies, “Since southern men frequently died young, married women retained their property and gave widows the right to inherit their husband's’ estates” (Kennedy 81). Women’s other jobs to men were supposed to be wives and child bearers. Men married women typically to bore their child, but there was love involved. In order to grow the colonies, there had to be families. At first, there were only men, so the colonies could not grow. So women came to have a family and bore children to cause the colonies to prosper. Today, women are not subordinates to men. They are strong, independent women if they want to