Women of the Victorian era were treated with the utmost respect. The lives of the Victorian women did range greatly, however. The upper and middle-class women primarily spent most of their time socializing with one another. As tea parties and other events were such a common thing throughout the Victorian era, most of them spent their time organizing and attending them.
Victorian upper-class women’s role in raising children
This was particularly the case because they did not have jobs, nor did they spend all their time raising children. Most of these women had nannies that spent their times doing the day to day tasks of feeding and teaching kids. However, it was still viewed that they should be teaching the absolute necessities such as how to be good wives, how to cook, and other house keeping duties to their daughters.
Victorian lower class women’s role
The lower-class families still did the same things as the upper and middle-class women. On occasion, if you were extremely poor the women would need to work. This was the same situation with the children in the family. Sometimes kids would have to work as young as 4 years old to make sure that everyone had food on the table at the end of the day.
This mostly occurred if the father was sick for a long period of time or had died. Still, the lower-class did not always have nannies so if they were able to stay home, they took on most of the responsibilities that the nanny would typically have.
It did not matter which social class you were from and all women were supposed to be treated with respect by the men. In fact, it was a general unspoken rule that no men would sit down at the table before all the women were seated. Things such as pulling the chairs out for the women and opening doors were common things that you would see done by men of the Victorian era for women.
While women were treated with respect in their actions, most men viewed women as weak and having no ability to form any technique. Therefore, they were typically frowned upon if they attempted any sports or hard physical labor.
The Victorian era women also had very conservative viewpoints. It was generally accepted by most women that all dresses should be long sleeved and go all the way to the floor. You should never wear pants or trousers, and legs should never be shown in public.
This was a time period where the legs were known as extremities and meant to be covered. Still, their learning and desire to be equal began in the Victorian era with a very progressive way of thinking that most of the country shared. However, it took long after the Victorian era for things to change.
More information on Victorian women: Victorian Era Society, Victorian Manners and Etiquettes, Victorian Era Jewellery, Victorian Era Women’s and Men’s Jackets, Victorian Era Women’s Fashion, Victorian Lady, Victorian Looks