But then I *really* get to thinking about it and I can't imagine living in any of those eras...
Once upon a time women were nothing more than property. They could inherit nothing. Any monies from their birth families went to their (sometime distant) male relatives or husband.
They had no say, no voice, in anything having to do with their own lives.
They married who they were told to marry. They were expected to give birth to male children and were looked down upon and sometimes punished if they didn't. They were expected to put up with and keep quite about their husbands mistresses. And they were deemed lunatics or crazy or whores if they didn't abide by the standards that men set before them.
A woman's sole purpose was to be attractive and entertaining enough to land a "good husband" (even if he was horrid and cruel) and then she was expected to dote on him for the rest of her life... with no expectation of any reciprocation.
Most women were not educated beyond singing, dancing, needlework, and such. There were no grand expectations and nothing great to aspire to. If she had dreams of her own they would most likely never come to fruition.
A husband could beat & abuse his wife, have affairs & illegitimate children and his wife could not petition for divorce. However a man could divorce his wife for any number of reasons and leave her with nothing, not even her children from a precious marriage or any so called "inheritance" she may have been left. For some women marriage was a lifetime prison sentence.
I can't even begin to imagine having no voice... can't imagine my will being crushed to nothing. I can't fathom having absolutely no say in my own life.
When I think of it on a personal level it makes the women from past generations who fought for our rights seem all the more brave. Because as much as I love corsets, and big froufrou gowns, and the romance portrayed in film and in books, I have a feeling that I'd probably be one of those women who got burned at the stake or thrown in an asylum.
I'm so glad I was born in modern times and have a for real happily ever after.
I can still wear corsets. In fact I can wear what ever the hell I want thanks to the brave ladies who came before me!!