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Gender and class roles in the 16th and 17th century

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Angela Mcdonald

on 28 May 2015

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Transcript of Gender and class roles in the 16th and 17th century

Gender and Class Roles in the 16th and 17th Century
Gender Roles For Females In The 16th an 17th Century
Upper Class
Table of Contents
Lower Class Living in the 16th and 17th Century
Class Roles in the 16th and 17th Century
Gender roles in Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet portrays gender roles in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. It shows the woman: Juliet ,as the property of her father and the man: Romeo as the child that upholds the Montague name.

This book also discusses class roles. The Capulet and Montague families are both rich households and are accustomed of hosting lush parties. They invite their close family and friends. There was also a custom of family feuds over small or big issues (like property arguments,)that would last for decades

Gender Roles are a set of social desires and behavioral standards, they decide how males and females have to think, act,believe, talk, dress, and associate inside of the connection of society. Gender roles have varied all through distinctive time periods, since the 1600's ladies have gained a great deal of ground amid the battle for their rights. Men and Women are presently viewed as equivalent. Privileged and working class individuals profited from the developing abundance of the nation in the 16th and 17th century. However for the poor, life did not progress. For them life was hard and unpleasant. Women didn't have the same level of respect or privileges as men or the women in the higher class.
The era of Shakespeare was not a well benefited time for women. Social structure in Europe only allowed women limited opportunities for involvement; they mainly were managers of their households. Women were expected to focus on activities that encouraged the betterment of their families specifically their husbands. In most cases education for women was not advocated it was thought to be harmful to the traditional female virtues of innocence and morality. Women who spoke out against traditional gender roles took the risk of being exiled from their communities. Women were not given education. Women were married at puberty to grown men. They remained forever the property of their fathers. Women were not allowed to buy land. A raped women was no longer allowed to wear jewelery or taken part in public ceremonies.
The Role of a Female
The Role of a Male
Gender and Class Roles in Romeo and Juliet
In the 16th century girls did not go to school. However girls from well known families were generally instructed at home. Middle class girls learned reading, writing, arithmetic and skills like sewing by their mothers. Merchant's daughters were regularly taught to maintain their dad's business. A few ladies were taught to read by their spouses or by the area minister. Young men and ladies from poor families were required to begin working and adding to the family income from the time they were around 7 years of age. Indeed, even in well off families individuals accepted that young ladies must work, so they let them "work" by weaving or reading suitable books. Class and age were just as important as gender in determining how a woman was treated.
In the 16th and 17th century, men were at the top of the gender hierarchy and the husband's patriarchal role as governor of his family and household which included his wife, children, wards, and servants — were assumed to have been instituted by God and nature.

Sons were expected to be educated, pampered and given attention. They were supposed to be the pride of the household and uphold the family name. They seemed to be the only gender worth anything. Women were seen as property and men were seen as the owners of this property. Women were the properties of their fathers until their husbands "bought" them. Men actually gave money to their father-in-laws as a purchase of their daughters. Sometimes fathers would tell their daughters that they are no longer their property and they would disown them over minor mistakes.
As days progressed the English empire bloomed with wealth but furniture did not apply to the poor. Their furniture, such as it was remained very plain and basic. However there were some improvements in poor people's houses in the 17th century.

In the Middle Ages ordinary people's homes were usually made of wood. However in the late 16th and early 17th centuries many were built or rebuilt in stone or brick. By the late 17th century even poor people usually lived in houses made of brick or stone. They were a big improvement over wooden houses. They were warmer and drier.

Furthermore in the 16th century chimneys were a luxury. However during the 17th century chimneys became more common and by the late 17th century even the poor had them. Furthermore in 1600's glass windows were a luxury. Poor people made do with linen soaked in linseed oil. However during the 17th century glass became cheaper and by the late 17th century even the poor had glass windows.

In the early 17th century there were only casement windows (ones that open on hinges). In the later 17th century sash windows were introduced. They were in two sections and they slid up and down vertically to open and shut.Although poor people's homes improved in some ways they remained very small and crowded. Most of the poor lived in huts of 2 or 3 rooms. Some families lived in just one room. Food such as fresh, assorted fruits and vegetable and meats were not easily affordable
Upper class of the 16th century
lived in quite a luxury of the time.
They ate assorted fruits, vegetables,
and meats, which weren't easily
accessible to the poor. Their women
had basic education (which was rare) and were taught by their mothers. They wore lush, heavy clothes; usually made of velvet and wore pale make-up (as seen on the bottom right). The men wore velvet shirts with breeches (usually bottle green in color;as seen on bottom left below). They lived in Large Manors like the one above.

Gender Roles For Males In The 16th and 17th Century
In conclusion, both genders had different roles in the community but it seemed like men were considered a higher status. Men are encouraged to be tough and outgoing while ladies are encouraged to be home bound and shy. Gender is seen closely related to the roles and behavior assigned to women and men based on their sexual differences. Men had opportunities to be educated and choose between a variety of jobs. while woman had could not be educated and only had household duties mainly for her family.

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