While reading the Chapter Private Women, Public Men in The Myth of Mars and Venus all I could think about was the 19th century; Ms. Beeten’s Book of Household Management. One of the most inspirational authors of the nineteenth century was Isabella Beeton. Ms. Beeton’s Book of Household Management was one of the most vital guides to appropriate living in Great Britain, and could be described as the modern day In Style Magazine. She pretty much taught women how to cater to all the domestic needs of the household. These new guidelines included how to dine, how to cook, how to decorate the home, and several other everyday guidelines. Mrs. Beeton’s guide was a manuscript that the middle class society could rely on for ways in which they could appear as upper class. It was said that the middle class expanded in the 19th century and the Beeton guide was catered towards middle class living.
As author Deborah Cameron states it was uncommon for women to be in the public eye during the 19th century. Few women made efforts to speak in public or voice opinions. Through books like those written by Ms. Beeton it is apparent as to how rigid the idea of domesticity was instilled in women. These guidelines for being the perfect homemaker are not so ancient. Some cultures still live by the idea of the “domestic wife.” We sometimes forget that in most countries women are still below man on the hierarchy poll. Due to fear some women are afraid to speak up on issues affecting them even if the outcome can improve their lifestyle.
This is one of the many issues that I plan on working towards as a mentor for young women; being heard. I want more women to speak out about both justices and injustices. We each were blessed with a voice. Why not be heard?