Women’s Rights Movement

In reaction to the injustices and the increasing pressuring Victorian perspective of the proper role of women seen by most feminists during the nineteenth century (1848 until around 1920), Barbara Leigh Smith and her women friends initiated meetings regularly during the 1850s in Langham Place in London to discuss the need for women to present a unified voice to achieve reform, which earned the group name “Ladies of Langham Palace. ” One of the causes they vigorously pursued became the Married Women’s Property Committee of 1855.

They collected thousands of signatures for petitions for legislative reform, some of which were successful. Smith had also attended the first women’s convention in Seneca Falls in America in 1848. The Cult of Domesticity pointed out home as the "separate, proper sphere" for women, who were seen as well suited to parenting. Catharine Beecher, a dedicated follower and preached author on The Cult once said, "Woman's greatest mission is to train immature, weak and ignorant creatures, to obey the laws of God, first in the family, then in the school, then in the neighborhood, then in the nation, then in the world.

" Also, because of the expected behaviors woman were assumed to make better teachers and thus one of the first out of home jobs for women was teaching. People of the nineteenth century, both men and women, did not consider what women did as wives and mothers as work but as an effortless expression of their feminine natures. Conclusively, the main reason why the first women’s movements came to light is the Victorian perspective of people (mostly men) during the nineteenth century, wherein women are seen to be just an aspect of beauty, not considering their potential as great contributors of ideas and work in the society.


<http://www. victorianweb. org> Mingay, G. E. The Victorian Countryside. England: Routledge, 2000. Cunningham, Valentine. The Victorians: An Anthology of Poetry & Poetics. England: Blackwell Publishing, 2000 Cook, Rebecca J. Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994