Sexism in the Victorian Era

All causes, social and natural, combine to make it unlikely that women should be collectively rebellious to the power of men. They are o far in a position different from all other subject classes, that their masters require something more from them than actual service. Men do not want solely the obedience of women, they their sentiments. All men, except the most brutish, desire to have, in the woman most nearly connected with them, not a forced slave but a willing one, not a slave merely, but a favorite. They have therefore put everything in practice to enslave their minds. The masters of all other slaves rely, for maintaining obedience, on fear; either fear of themselves, or religious fears. The masters of women wanted more than simple obedience, and they turned the whole force of education to effect their purpose. All women are brought up from the very earliest years in the belief that their idea of character is the very opposite to that of men; not self-will, and government by self-control, but submission, and yielding to the control of others. All the moralities tell them that it is the duty of women, and all the current sentimentalities that it is their nature, to live for others; to make complete abnegation of themselves, and to have no life but in their affections.
-John Stuart Mill, from The Subjection of Women, 1869

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