Theorising Public and Private Spheres

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Abstract

The 19th century saw an expression of women’s ardent desire for freedom, emancipation and assertion in the public space. Women hardly managed to assert themselves at all in the public sphere, as any deviation from their traditional role was seen as unnatural. The human soul knows no gender distinctions, so we can say that women face the same desire for fulfillment as men do. Today, women are more and more encouraged to develop their skills by undertaking activities within the public space that are different from those that form part of traditional domestic chores. The woman of the 19th century felt the need to be useful to society, to make her contribution visible in a variety of domains. A woman does not have to become masculine to get power. If she is successful in any important job, this does not mean that she thinks like a man, but that she thinks like a woman. Women have broken through the walls that cut them off from public life, activity and ambition. There are no hindrances that can prevent women from taking their place in society.

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