The relations between sexes in the early America

The relations between sexes in the early America - The...

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The relations between sexes in the early America Zilai Li 13/04/06 From the two decades of correspondence between John Adams and Abigail Smith, one can easily infer the dramatic difference in the social roles of the two sexes. Women were expected to remain as demure housewives, while the men went to battle in the business world and seek recognition for their deeds. Before the marriage, the relations between the sexes were more formal and refined. Abigail Smith however, was a remarkable woman of her time. After marriage, she and John built a partnership between each other, broke stereotypes with her wisdom and leaving her marks on American history through her influence upon her husband. One of the reasons that relationships between sexes were unequal in the early America was women believed that God gave men the power to protect women. In Abigail's letter to her cousin, she wrote: "the natural tenderness and delicacy of our constitutions, added to the many dangers we are subject too from your sex, renders it almost impossible for a single lady to travel without injury to her character. And those who have a protector in a husband…are obliged to content themselves with seeing but a very small part of their own." (Adams Letters , 50) Abigail wanted to express that women could not survive by themselves. Women had had tenderness and delicacy as their inbred characters since they were borne. Curiosity existed in both of the sexes but women were too weak to explore it, which she interpreted as lack of men’s protection made it 1
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impossible. Abigail accepted men’s protection but did not agree with what men had done. She explained in her letters: "Regard us then as beings placed by providence under your protection and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power only for our happiness." (Adams Letters , 121) Abigail believed men had power, which was used to protect women and to make them happier. The power was ordained by God and was
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The relations between sexes in the early America - The...

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