A remarkable poet by the name of Anne Bradstreet was born in 1612 in England. Later in life, she came to the America’s with her entire family and created a hobby that became very influential in the society. As Bradstreet began her writings, she had no intentions of them being published. Most of her poems were very personal letters to her husband and children that she kept close to her, considering that they were originally only for her and her family’s eyes. When a close friend of hers stole her writings and had them published without her permission, Anne was a little hurt and she had every right to be. Little did she know that this could have possibly been the greatest thing anyone had done for her. In the Puritan society she was a part of, women were inferior to men. Bradstreet strongly disagreed with this idea and constantly made comments in her writing about the stereotype. Who knew her writings could possibly change the way society viewed women in the 1600’s?
In the 16th and 17th century, the Puritan belief was strongly enforced. The idea of this religious sect was to keep men as the main leader of society and for all women to be work under them. The role of most women was to take care of the house and care for their children without getting in the way of their husband. Women were not allowed to think for themselves and in absolutely no way be smarter than men. If any woman decided to speak out against this discrimination, she was shunned and no man had anything to do with her.
This video expresses the daily routine of a Puritan family during this time period.
In this picture the evidence is clear of how men felt as if they were superior to women and children. Clearly you can see the proud look on the man’s face and the cowering look on the woman and children’s faces.
Anne Bradstreet became one of the few brave women who decided to take stand on what she believed. Although she may not have done it on purpose, her works were published and society was shocked that a woman could have the capability to write and publish the way a man could. Another brave woman during those times was Anne Hutchinson. She wanted to express to women everywhere how this relationship where men are superior to men, is not healthy. Unfortunately in her efforts she is killed for being so outspoken about what she believes.
Bradstreet felt that she could sincerely change the way society viewed women. Although in her efforts she allowed more women to stand up for themselves, but women did not gain the rights and respect from men until the women’s rights movement began in the late 1800’s. This movement gave women hope that they were equal to men by giving them the right to work and do the majority of things that men could do, including the opportunity to vote.
All around the country Anne Bradstreet became a well-respected person and poet by many other women for her confidence in her writings. So in a way, Bradstreet began the process of considering the equality of men and women, but in no way was she completely responsible for it.