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Dear Dr. Beachley  

The idea of separate spheres was to keep a clear cut separation between the role of men and the role of women. Woman’s place was in the private sphere; taking care of the home, providing care for the children, and the perpetuation of our species. Women were considered dependents and relied on their husbands, according to Sally G. McMillen, “Other than marrying well, they could do little to enhance their economic status.” Whereas men were in the public sphere, taking care of the economic aspect of raising the children and taking care of the family. Men were also in the public eye, having a voice and dominating industry and politics. This was both beneficial and oppressive to women. In one aspect women were able to stay home with their families and were able to make sure the children were raised properly and in another aspect women relied on their husbands, leaving the men in control with no repercussions.

  • McMillen, S. (2008). Separate Spheres Law, Faith, Tradition. In Seneca Falls and the origins of the women’s rights movement (p. 12). New York, New York: Oxford University Press.

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