Tuesday, 29 January 2013

8. R & J - Positions of Wives and Daughters in 16th Century England

Position of Wives & Daughters in 16th

The position for women in the 16th was very different from today as they were very much subordinate to men. They were considered inferior and were controlled by their husbands fathers and even brothers.. Men were the leading figures and made all the decisions. This was known as a patriarchal society - from the Latin word pater meaning father. Men had control over money and all financial decisions and the way their wives and daughters lived their lives.

Women therefore:

· Had no say in society or even in their own house

· Were responsible for all the household tasks – cooking, cleaning, washing & sewing or if they were rich oversaw servants to do this.

· Had to obey their husband, father & brothers

· Had no job or opportunity to make an independent life

· Had arranged marriages

· Could not divorce their husbands even if they were really unhappy because they would have nowhere else to go.

· Weredisowned by their families if they refused to do what was expected of them –for some this often lead to suicide because they had no means of support.



  1. i think that what was acceptable for women to do and not do was contradictory because they were expected to do all of the housework yet they had no say in what went on in the household.

  2. I believe that some women do follow the rules of being a housewife (cooking, cleaning etc) and these days, it is more common to be a housewife out of choice not by being forced to. I don't think it's wrong to want your wife to be a housewife however it is wrong to make your wife stay at home with no choice of her own.


All comments will be moderated by Ms Findlater prior to being published. Please allow a little time to see it appear on the blog.