It’s no secret that our society has changed over the centuries it has been in existence. It was once dominated completely by white males who ruled with inequality over women and minorities. Although we may think of slavery as pertaining to African Americans, women were also basically enslaved. In a society that expected conformity and that all women marry, few chose to remain single. Once they were married they found that they had sold themselves to the men they had united with. They weren’t allowed to own property. Even their children only belonged to their husbands and not to them. Divorce for a woman was almost unheard of, because from then on she would be ostracized and alone.
Naturally, women put up with a lot from their husbands. There were double standards galore, such as the one that dictated that men were entitled to have mistresses but women were required to be monogamous. Men owned businesses, traveled, caroused with friends, and over-imbibed on liquor, while women were expected to act with decorum at all times and never question what their husbands were doing. No wonder that women got tired of being treated this way. It took a long time for them to start standing up for their own rights and even longer for them to win any concessions, but over the decades they gradually came into their own.
Even today women are often treated differently than men, but they still have rights that their ancestors never thought of. They can vote, own property, work their way to the top of various companies, and divorce their husbands if the situation merits. Men have been reluctant to cede any of their so-called rights to women, because they enjoyed doing as they liked and having their women obey them to the point of not even chastizing them for their conduct, but they’ve had to change with the times.
In the majority of marriages, husbands and wives have equal say in financial transactions, raising children, and building careers. Occasionally a man will overstep his boundaries and want to have autonomous authority over his family, but women no longer have to put up with it. Therefore, most men have learned to treat their wives fairly in order to keep the peace. They know that they will no longer be able to dominate her thoughts and actions or else they could find themselves out in the street without a wife, a home or their children.