The status of women during the Victorian era was quite pitiful because they had absolutely no rights at all. They could not vote or own property although they were joining the workforce by the thousands because of the industrial revolution. Although some feminist was spreading in the educated middle class, women from the country were still treated like chattel without any rights or respect. Even women of the middle class were expected to make the lives of their husbands as comfortable as possible by providing him with an organized home, cook his food and take care of him and his children. Women did not even have the right to their own earnings when they were married.
By law, everything belonged to their husbands. Any rights that women had before marriage were forfeited to the husband. They became slaves of the husbands. These laws created problems for all women, whether married or single and suffered hardships in either status. In such circumstances, Tess endured all sorts of hardships but refused to let this break her spirit. She endured with resilience all that happened to her and still had the courage to try and make a new life with Angel. Only it was Angel who forsook her and ran out on her
The role of women in the Victorian era started to improve with many women’s groups advocating for their rights. It was normal for women in that era to be working along with the males in the family business or find jobs elsewhere. Families with small business usually lived over the shop which made it easier for women to help out with attending customers or handling the accounts. With the progress of the industrial revolution, men increasingly want to work in other places while women who had been part of the family business began staying at home with nothing to do but supervise servants who did all the household work.
During that period women started wearing crinolines, a large skirt that made it impossible to bend down without tumbling over. Both sexes now inhabited separate spheres because this ideology was created on the known ‘natural characteristics of men and women’. Women were considered physically weaker, but superior in morals to men which made them more suited to domestic chores. Their main job was to balance the household and meet all requirements of men including preparing the next generation for the same sort of life. This domesticated role was the major reason given for not giving women the right to vote