Sermons to Young Women

28 Nov

These artifacts are from a sermon by Reverend Dr. Fordyce, which was published in 1767 in Boston. The first image is the title page, the second image is the first page of the chapter titled “On Female Virtue with Domestic and Elegant Accomplishments,” and the third image is the second page of this chapter. These images relate to “Desperate Housewives” because of the content of the sermons. It states, “[Women] were manifestly intended to be the mothers and formers of a rational and immortal offspring; to be a kind of softer companions, who, by nameless delightful sympathies and endearments, might improve our pleasures and sooth our pains; to lighten the load of domestic cares, and by that means leave us more at leisure for labour … to degrade them from so honorable a station indicates a mixture of ignorance… and barbarity.” This sermon states that it is a woman’s duty to become a wife and mother and care for her husband. Fordyce’s sermon reveals that he believes that women were put on the planet to serve men. These artifacts reveal that even religious leaders supported the idea that females are inferior to men, and also further solidifies the notion that this was a commonly held belief  of the time. The other chapters of this sermon discuss the clothing women should wear and the virtues women should hold. Fordyce’s sermon reveals that women were considered inferior to men during the 17oos.

Source: Early American Imprints, Series 1, no. 41707

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