Victorian Victorian women were also not allowed to

Victorian Women, The Sexual Abuse and Social Classes in The
Victorian Era.

The most common way to characterize women in that period,
known as the Victorian Era in England, from 1837 to 1900 was savagery and
Women were expected to be limited to childbearing and being a housewife, In the
Victorian era, there where, four classes of social structure, the nobility, gentry,
middle class, the upper working class and the lower working class. These
categories all had the same thing in common, women led a highly restrictive
life with their husband and children being the
center of their existence. The women who were considered lower-class remained
single most of their lives and had to take up menial jobs like laborers, prostitution,
or any activity which involved physical exertion. Some of the other duties a
Victorian woman had to do, kept her husband happy.  Once a Victorian woman was married, she would lose any right to property and her identity was
lost. Victorian women were also not allowed to vote.

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By law, she was under the complete and total control of her
husband. The husband had control over his wife’s body, and beatings and marital
rape were legal because the law was designed to benefit men rather than women. In
the case of the marital bed, sexual intercourse and the refusal of sex were
ground for the annulment of marriage and the husband also had a complete say.
In regards to divorce, it wasn’t allowed in England until the Matrimonial cause
act of 1857.2
Since you couldn’t just sign papers and be on your way, men had to find another
way out. Wife selling became an entirely legitimate way to get out of a marriage. This way of life that continued into
the 19th Century in rural Britain.  A man
would tie a rope around a woman and take her to the public square, and ask for
offers, she could be sold in public or private. It was said that one woman was
sold for a pint of beer, (WoW) but most were sold for a decent amount of cash.3
Now the issue of adultery was also in the man’s favor, while if a woman
committed adultery, she was considered perverted and unnatural, this acts also
called into play the paternity of the children. Consequently, men believed they
could treat women any way they wanted to without any shame. However, because
wives were not respected, prostitution reflected what men considered all women
to be, which was whores that were there just for their gratification and sexual

It’s important to keep in mind that the only cases that came
to court were those of excessively brutal nature, where the wife’s life was
endangered.4 It
was considered normal for women of the Victorian Era to be slapped, punched and
kicked with boots or wooden clogs, and thrown out into the street for the night
often in their night grown.  These women
experience knocked out teeth, broken jaws, noses and ribs, these were common
for that era. Also common was throwing a woman out of a window, beating her
about the head with a table leg or broom handle. There are reports of iron
pokers being bent from the viciousness of the assault and most of the time the
male would only receive little, or no jail time, moreover he would get a fine.
These were horrible atrocities that women in that era endured. If you were
unlucky to be not so, attractive, you were strongly advised washing your face
with ammonia, then cover yourself with Lead paint, even at night to keep that fresh
face look, also rubbing some opium on your face before bed, and for those who
were really committed, Sears & Roebuck sold a product called Dr. Rose
arsenic complexion wafers, this was arsenic, and women were instructed to eat
them. If you were a woman In the Victorian Era and had thin eyebrows and
eyelashes, a nightly smear of mercury could help. A woman would use lemon
juice, perfume or belladonna as eyedrops, and yes, a lot of women went blind.
These were just some of the savagery and barbarism that women had to live
through in the Victorian Era.