I've been reading a lot about the time periods prior to the 19th Century and it seems to me that with the exception of perhaps the 1600s (which were similar in terms of Puritanism), it seems like the Victorian Era had much higher standards of expectations of both men and women compared to the Georgian Era and prior.

For instance, the concept of the "breadwinner" wasn't as prevalent and reinforced prior to the 19th century. Women seemed to have virtually no voice at all in the 19th century compared to even the century prior. In the 18th century, women actually did work and even alongside men as there wasn't much of a separate sphere during the 18th century. Also, stuff like jewelry, makeup and huge wigs were worn by women a lot in the 18th century and prior compared to the 19th century. Men also wore some of that too before it got banned.

These were simply gender norms, there was also the fact that prior to the 19th century, people were much more sexually open and liberated and premarital sex was much more common. For instance, something like 33% of all babies were conceived before marriage during the 18th century. whereas during the 19th century, both men and women were far more restricted in this area as women were more expected to be the upholders of morality.

The Victorian Era in both GB and America was more restrictive than the time periods prior, but my question is why did this occur to begin with. What caused the change from society being more open during the Enlightenment era to being restrictive during the Romantic Era?

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Please comment below and as always, be civil. 🙂

Source: reddit post


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