The Cult of True Womanhood

In the middle to late 1300’s, a widely accepted view about women was the Cult of True Womanhood.  This was a middle class ideology which put women on a pedestal away from the filth of the world.  Women were also viewed as pure and uplifting creatures, who should stay home and take care of the home front.

Many of you might find this view quite appealing.  Yet it put a lot of restrictions on women, including dress, language and sexual matters.  It restricted them from jobs since motherhood was about the only acceptable job in this “cult.”

In this “cult” women only had three acceptable roles.  One was of course motherhood.  Children needed someone pure and caring, and women were the right upbringers.  Secondly, women were to bring purity to society.  They were less dominated by cultural badness, and were not supposed to show sexuality.  They could also help men from their carnal wills in this role.  A third role for women was to bring piety to society.  Women were viewed as more spiritual than men, because men had no time for church matters.  In fact, women changed the view towards God at this time.  Before, the view was of the harsh Puritan God, but during this time women smoothed this view over and made God more loving and understanding.

Does this picture of women in the Cult of True Womanhood seem better than today’s picture?  Should we push for a revival towards the cult’s way, or should we stick with the equality of today’s world?  I think it is safe to say that both views are wrong.

The Cult of True Womanhood has many flaws.  It limits women in their career choices, by allowing them only to be mothers.  We all know that women make fine doctors, teachers, business people, etc.  It also makes men very non-religious, leaving church matters to women.  This is obviously a wrong and corrupt idea.

Today’s view of equality is also not flawless.  Men and women are not equal, and as Christians we should not think so.

To find the proper place for women, one must only look to Scripture.  There we can find the proper place that God has placed women, as He shows us this in many places.  This place, I feel, is not found in “today’s women,” nor in the women of the “Cult of True Womanhood.”