Was Queen Victoria Didn’t Believe in Women’s Rights – Or Did She?

by Jeremy Spirogis
Was Queen Victoria Didn’t Believe in Women’s Rights – Or Did She?

Queen Victoria was some of the well-known ladies of the 19th century. Despite this, she didn’t like the thought of feminine rulers. Here’s what she needed to say – and the way her actions might have undercut her phrases.

A portrait of Queen Victoria from 1841 | CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images

Queen Victoria’s ideas on ladies’s rights

WBUR reviews the queen as soon as mentioned “We women are not made for governing.” Speaking in third individual, she continued “The Queen is most anxious to enlist some one who can speak & write etc. checking this mad, wicked folly of ‘Woman’s rights,’ with all the attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex seems bent…God created man & woman different — & let each remain in their own position.”

Similarly, the British Library reviews the queen noticed modern gender roles as divinely ordained. In 1870, she wrote “Let women be what God intended, a helpmate for man, but with totally different duties and vocations.” Her phrases appeared to echo a passage within the Book of Genesis which described Eve as Adam’s helper.

How the queen modified the monarchy

Statue of Queen Victoria in Liverpool Michael Nicholson/Corbis by way of Getty Images

The Guardian quotes journalist Julia Baird’s tackle the subject of Queen Victoria and girls’s rights. “Victoria said women weren’t suited for public life, but she spent several decades protecting and demanding an influential place in it. [It’s] like a lot of women who say they are not feminist now, all the while they’re collecting pay cheques and expecting to vote and expecting to have property rights, and to have recourse if anyone were to assault them. Her power was assumed to have come from the men around her, especially from her husband.”

Despite Queen Victoria’s views, her place in society – in addition to the positions of different feminine rulers – gained some respect amongst suffragettes. Millicent Garrett Fawcett, a well-known suffragette, mentioned “Within its own prescribed limitations [the monarchy] repeatedly given in our own history, a chance to an able woman to prove that in statesmanship, courage, sense of responsibility and devotion to duty, she is capable of ruling in such a way as to strengthen her empire and throne by earning the devoted affection of all classes of her subjects.”

Did Queen Victoria go away any optimistic legacy for girls?

Charles Robert Leslie’s Queen Victoria in Her Coronation Robe | © Historical Picture Archive/CORBIS/Corbis by way of Getty Images

In an analogous vein, Baird says Queen Victoria defied the expectations of her time regardless of her conventional attitudes. “Victoria was so tough and stubborn and sometimes rude, and refused to accept defeat. Refused to be told what to do. She was micro reported on every second of the day and she behaved how she wanted to behave. That was quite different.”

Dr. Amanda Foreman had related ideas on Queen Victoria’s legacy as a feminine ruler, reviews The Guardian. “Queen Victoria transformed Buckingham Palace, the fabric of this building, and in so doing created new traditions, those traditions which we now associate with the modern monarchy. It is significant that it was a woman who was responsible for these traditions and a woman who defined our nation’s understanding and concept of sovereign power, how it’s experienced, how it’s expressed.”

Some of the traditions Queen Victoria invented included backyard events British monarchy addressing their topics on a balcony. Queen Victoria might not have been a contemporary lady. However, she did show ladies may have an enduring impression.

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