The Women Responsibility, Treatment and Privileges in the Olden American Account


TheWomen Responsibility, Treatment and Privileges in the Olden AmericanAccount

TheWomen Responsibility, Treatment and Privileges in the Olden AmericanAccount

Duringthe ancient American history, women had less official privileges thanmen their roles were mostly restricted to homemaking and child caregiving, and they were treated as an inferior group and mostlyassociated with wickedness and enticement. Both primary and secondaryevidence from the story of &quotSalem Trials&quot and the&quotMidwife`s Diary&quot essentially supports the underlyingsituation (Salevouris &amp Furay, 2015 “Do History: MarthaBallard`s Diary Online”, n.d Davidson &amp Lytle, 2000). Also,the evidence is written in the actual period of the olden America(1692-1693) and (1785-1800) for the Trials and the Diary respectivelywhich gives the real situation of the time (Salevouris &amp Furay,2015).

Accordingto the Salem Trials, women had fewer rights than men in that theywere not entitled to any political power because the village isstrictly patriarchy in law and by the God`s approval (Davidson &ampLytle, 2000). Similarly, the Midwife Diary’s excerpts show thatfemales were denied the privileges to formal education andprofessionalism. For instance, Martha (the midwife) records thatduring her daily attendance, she could meet with male doctors who hadacquired recognized training, and though they could work together,the female midwives could not participate in dissection (“DoHistory: Martha Ballard`s Diary Online,” n.d.). In essence, therewas a real discrimination against women especially in other fieldsother than household sector. Therefore, from the above evidence, wecan infer that women were less honored than men.

Salem`story proofs that the primary role of women is domesticresponsibilities including cooking, home keeping, taking care oftheir babies and husband. For example, a group of young ladiesassembles in the kitchen of Mr. Parris (the Salem Minister) and startdiscussing their usual interests of what kind of potential husbandsthey should have (Davidson &amp Lytle, 2000). This illustration is aperfect interpretation of where the women’s role rested and that isin the kitchen. Likewise, the Midwife’s Diary demonstrates similarinstances of the female’s jobs. Starting with the work of Martha,we find that she attends the women giving births and the sick (“DoHistory: Martha Ballard`s Diary Online,” n.d.). Additionally, thosewomen that bore children out of marriage, mostly are forced to marrythe father of the child to avoid extended community services ofbringing up the kid (“Do History: Martha Ballard`s Diary Online”,n.d.). Thus, we can deduce from the given exemplars that women rolesat the time were household related duties.

Salemtrials exemplify that the female folk is treated inferiorly by themale group and usually associated with evil. First, the unmarriedwomen like Mercy, Abigail, and Mary occupies the bottom ranking inthe societal system (Davidson &amp Lytle, 2000). Also, they aremostly linked with witches bearing in mind that in the trial 14suspects were women compared to 6 men (Davidson &amp Lytle, 2000).Equally, the Diary epitomizes that men could rape women, and thelatter would be blamed for enticing the former. For instance, thecase of the abused girl among others was referred as friend rape, andshe was accused of luring the attacker (“Do History: MarthaBallard`s Diary Online”, n.d.). In the case of premaritalpregnancy, the unmarried women were forced to name the father of thekid during the climax of the labor (“Do History: Martha Ballard`sDiary Online”, n.d.). All the exemplars showed that females werelowly treated, and since they were neither economically noreducationally empowered, they were unable to fight for this illtreatment.

Afterninety-two years from the time of Salem Trials to the Midwife diary,the general life of women had not changed yet. This situation is heldby the fact that men were still dominating the world. For instance,women were exempted from acquiring the formal education (“DoHistory: Martha Ballard`s Diary Online”, n.d.) which could haveempowered them. Also, they were still being treated as the inferiorparty that could be taken advantage of, and a good example is that ofMrs. Foster`s several rape cases and increased number of out wedlockbirths (“Do History: Martha Ballard`s Diary Online”, n.d.).Although we have seen that Martha was now earning from the midwifeservices and attending the sick, there is still a wide gap betweenmales and female life. Thus, even after that extended period, theevidence shows that the overall life of women was still the same, andnobody was addressing the situation.


Davidson,J. W., &amp Lytle, M. H. (2000). Afterthe fact: The art of historical detection.Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Salevouris,M. J., &amp Furay, C. (2015). Themethods and skills of history: A practical guide.

DoHistory: Martha Ballard`s Diary Online. (n.d.). Retrieved September07, 2016, from