The Victorian Compromise
The Victorian age was an age of contradiction, also called “The Victorian Compromise” because it was both an age of progress and improvement and an age of injustice through the working classes, with strict moral values but at the same time corruption and vices. Religion had an significant role, especially Evangelicalism, and Philantropy began to gain importance with the creation of societies which addressed poverty and voluntary efforts of women.
The main word of the Victorian Age was respectability, because it was a mixture of morality and hypocrisy shared by middle and working classes. Unpleasant aspects of the society, such as poverty and dissolution, were covered by respectability.
It was also important the role of the woman: men had the duty to respect her, physically weaker but morally superior, a guide and an inspirer for men because she controlled the family budget and the growth of the children.
The attitude towards sex was crucial: there was female chastity (a single woman with a child was called a fallen woman), repression of sexuality both privately and publicly, and moralising prudery (pretending to be shocked by sexuality) that led to a rejection of words with sexual connotation, the denunciation of nudity in art and the veiling of sculptured genitals