The Mental Health of Women over time

After reading Ada Lovelace’s letters and Harriet Martineau’s Society in America, it got me thinking about what we have read in John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography and Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus-The Everlasting No. Lovelace describes in her letters her ambition to further her studies in math and science. At this time, it was unheard of for most men to be literate and be educated, so the fact that she was able to study these subjects and write letters in order to gain more information was astounding. On the other hand, Martineau talks about how controlling the government was over women during this time period and how limited they were in their lives. She states “The interests of women who have fathers and husbands can never be identical with theirs”. This proves that women were subordinate to men at this time and weren’t taken seriously. In Mill”s Autobiography, he talks about the grief and difficulty he experienced in his life. Back then, it was rare to discuss this sort of mental health self awareness. On the contrary, Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus resembles the opposite and more positive side of mental health where he explains how man “has no other possession but Hope”. I’m wondering how women coped with this inequality at the time. Were they used to their role in society and therefore became complacent? Or did they fight back like Lovelace and Martineau by educating themselves and hoping for a better future for women?

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