Sir Robert Walpole, England’s eighteenth-century prime minister, lived in great splendor, In 1733, his household consumed over a thousand bottles of white Lisbon wine, merely one variety among the scores in the cellar. Every week oysters came in by the barrel, and about once a month a hundred pounds of chocolate, along with a load of mixed nuts, arrived in Walpole’s kitchen to be made into the chocolate bars he craved. And back at Houghton Hall, his vast house in Norfolk, his mother and his wife, with an army of servants, were busy preparing food that they then dispatched to London by ship coach and wagon.
Monica Ali: There was a woman prime minister when I was at secondary school, the sex discrimination act had been passed already, and when I went to college women’s rights was still a politicised issue. Given all that, why have we still such a long way to go in terms of pay, boardroom inequality, lack of women MPs, figures of domestic violence, percentage of housework and childcare done by women… Part of the answer is the tendency to blame biology. There’s a tendency to shrug and say women have children so there’s a career gap, instead of thinking well, in what ways can we make sure that doesn’t disadvantage women? Read More: http://www.wwomenglobally.com/annie-lennox-discussing-feminism-and-its-meaning-today-by-guardian-co-uk/ a
As with Walpole, so with the rest of the nobility, and with merchants, lawyers, doctors, and tradesmen: their kitchens were active the year round, to a degree that would daunt the most dedicated housewife today. Wives and daughters made everything; the processes were slow, the labor, even with the help of servants, exhausting. Beer, cordials, lemonade, herbal and medicinal drinks, fruit wines all had to be made. Everything preservable, from pigs to mushrooms, had to be preserved; fruits were jammed and crystallized. There were no mixers, no shredders, no liquidizers. Nor was it only food that the women prepared. When Walpole was a boy, his shirts, nightgowns and cravats were made at home or by a gentlewoman who lived ten miles away and was noted for her splendid needlework.
There were worse chores. The streets of London and the roads of the countryside were in foul weather a loathing mess of mud, water and dung; women could only keep their houses clean by getting down on their knees and scrubbing. So Mrs. Samuel Pepys and her maid periodically rose at 2 a.m. and set out – first rhe laundry , then about the house with a copper’s fill of hot water. They finished late in the day. We can scarcely imagine the toil that went into maintaining even a modest household: water had to be fetched from wells, candles trimmed, lamps filled, earth closets and closestools emptied, firewood carried. Pepys, and other men of his class, had to manage with one serving girl, probably no older than fifteen or sixteen. Except in the highest ranks of the aristocracy, women labored, perhaps slaved like Jews in Egypt, would be a better analogy, in their master’s house.
Childbirth too, kept women in subjection, and it is appalling to think of all these pregnancies combined with the toil of a household. With their lives so encumbered, women had little time to cultivate their minds. Even in the eighteenth-century few upper class females could spell, and their education, other than the acquisition of social graces, was sadly neglected. They were regarded by most men as inferior in intellect, weaker vessels to be both disciplined and protected.
The wretched fate of many women was rendered still more wretched by the fact that marriage was so closely bound up with the transmission of property: alliances were contracted for social and economic reasons, and only rarely for love. Although exploited by males, both married and unmarried, prostitutes were constantly denounced. Morality pictured them as being driven through certain disease to an early death- a fate not unlike that of a good many devout and chaste wives. The subjection of women was also reflected in the laws and social customs of pre-industrial societies. ….
Annie Lennox:For me the anomaly is that the western countries are so resourced. I can identify with a woman losing a child. This happened to me, I lost a baby. But I’m living in a place where I can get medical treatment. A woman in Rwanda or Uganda or Bangladesh will deliver a baby on the floor and probably it won’t survive and there’s a good chance the mother won’t either. Being conscious of this vast disparity between our experiences, I’m appalled the word feminism has been denigrated to a place of almost ridicule and I very passionately believe the word needs to be revalued and reintroduced with power and understanding that this is a global picture. It isn’t about us and them. Read More: http://www.wwomenglobally.com/annie-lennox-discussing-feminism-and-its-meaning-today-by-guardian-co-uk/
Certainly, the growth of contraception, the spread of education and the dedicated fighting spirit of women themselves are partial explanations; especially those magnificent suffragettes who chained themselves to railings, threw themselves under the hooves of race horses, or starved themselves in prison to the point of death helped their cause. But how much can be explained by women merely being needed in the workforce to expand the economy?A normative participation but still suffering from social ideologies that regard women as essentially decorative or domestic.
According to Jean Kilbourne’s article, “Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt”: Advertising and Violence, “The main goal [of advertising]…is usually power over another, either by the physical dominance or preferred status of men or what is seen as the exploitative power of female beauty and female sexuality.” This means
that not only do we subconsciously look for authority to be placed in the hands of the male figure in the ad, but we are also allured to advertisements that completely objectify the female body and oppress their status in society. It’s interesting that even women will flock to an ad that belittles them….
In most ads, women are made to look as if they are the damsel in distress. “Help me!” they cry as the photographer captures them. Their body positions, their gaze, even their environments add to their deficiency. It is clear after observing these ads that a woman’s body will sulk and take up a small amount of space. To add to her vulnerability, she will usually stare directly into the lens. As John Berger states, “Men act and women appear.” If a male model is present, it is almost certain that he will take precedence over the photo. The female can now no longer focus on her Versace; her eyes target a man that, for the most part, won’t bother to return the favor. Don’t think this could be a notable negative influence? Read More: http://knol.google.com/k/gender-roles-in-advertising#