Even when other causes were present, sickness and debility were frequently ascribed to masturbation - the great erotic subject described as vigorously as it was denounced.
Throughout the Victorian era, respectable employment for women from solidly middle-class families was largely restricted to work as a school teacher or governess.
According to the Tate gallery, it "shocked audiences when it was shown at the Royal Academy in because of the questionable sexual morals of its characters. Women equestrians rode "side saddle", succeeding at challenging manoeuvres despite this sport handicap.
We were girls, you see, and what use were girls anyway? More modern pursuits were introduced to women's lives during the 19th century, however.
Inthe Hon. The picture is occluded however by the variety of attitudes that exist at any given time, and by individuals' undoubted reticence, so that information on actual experience is often inferred from demographic and divorce court records.
There were sometimes cracks in the facade of propriety. She succeeded in modernising the nursing profession, promoting training for women and teaching them courage, confidence and self-assertion. Women, on the other hand, were dominated by their sexuality, and were expected to fall silently into the social mold crafted by men, since they were regarded as irrational, sensitive, and dutiful.
For instance, an early article advising girls to exercise stresses the future role of girls as mothers to vindicate her argument: "If, then, the importance of duly training the body in conjunction with the mind is thus recognised in the cause of our boys, surely the future wives and mothers of England—for such is our girls' destiny—may lay claim to a no less share of attention in this respect.
These property restrictions made it difficult or impossible for a woman to leave a failed marriage, or to exert any control over her finances if her husband was incapable or unwilling to do so on her behalf.