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The changes that were occurring in the Victorian Era meant progress, but for a majority of women writers, the inequality that remained unchanged was sickening. However there were women who wrote, and published their work, despite all the odds against them. These women helped pave the way for many other female writers. In the Victorian Era (June 20, 1837 – January 22, 1901) women and men were completely different, and were treated as if they were on separate planets. The beliefs behind this was that men and women had different characteristics, both physically and mentally. Many people believed that women had significantly smaller brains than men, and that they shouldn’t use as much “mental energy” because the “blood flow from the reproductive organs would divert to the brain, causing dysmenorrhea”. Men were more public; meaning that they were allowed to discuss politics, enter wars, have an education, and so on. Women were expected to be more private; they remained in a male dominated world, playing the roles of house wife, mother, governess, or even “Angel in the house” or “Household Fairy”. Women were expected to contain her passion for education, but if she decided to pursue education were looked down upon and became known as a “bluestocking”. This was used as an insult to tell the women that they were being unfeminine by trying to upstage men’s “natural intellectual superiority.”    Women writers often faced obstacles when trying to write books, since young females were restricted from reading certain genres because it was important that the novels the girls read had a heroine that could guide them to behave and express themselves in the way society wanted them to.  It was considered unhealthy for a girl to read a book that was meant for a boy, and it was believed that it would make the girls want to enter the “public sphere” in which males lived. While writing books women had certain rules to follow and there was limits to what was considered socially acceptable. Female writers were criticized more harshly than male writers. If a woman published her writing using her real name, the critics would stereotype her and focus on her femininity, as a result women started publishing their work using a male pen name. This helped the critics focus on their writing skills and the content of which they wrote.  They often compared female writers to each other, creating an unnecessary competition.  Most of the critics were negative because they heavily believed that women were inferior to men.   The three Bronte sisters challenged society both individually and as a trio. As a group, they used their novels to demonstrate how “there is more to women than society believes, that these women are more than ‘angels’.” They wrote what was considered feminist novels because it encouraged more women to be their own person, and live their own life. They helped challenge society by showing that women did have a passion and were not underneath men. Mary Anne Evans, also well known as George Eliot, helped defined realism the rising genre in Britain. The way she wrote her novels was considered tricky, she let her views of arts and philosophy get mixed in with her storyline. A lot of her material from her books were used from her own experiences. Evans wrote an essay called “Silly Novels” because she wanted to address that other female writers were writing trashy romance novels, and this was a problem back then because she felt that those books undermined the importance of women’s education. Evans was said to be Queen Victoria’s favorite novelist.   Overall, it is believed that these women helped challenge society and encouraged other women to chase their dreams, or just break away from the domesticated life style. Without these courageous women authors, being a female writer today would not be as easy as it is today.  

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