Women were powerful in their households, but they were not powerful in society. They presided over domestic affairs, but anything beyond such affairs was a man's territory. Women were viewed as inferiors to a much greater extent pre-industrialization than now. Just compare a woman's position in industrialized nations to their position in non-industrialized nations. Women clearly come out on top in the industrialized ones.I believe you might have a misconception of what women did prior to industrialization. Until their children came of age, they did keep the house. However, the more important jobs they took were the crafts they undertook, such as weaving, knitting, spinning, milking and dairy work, among other things. The key difference between this age and the industrial age was that these crafts were indispensable to men. They could not live without the labor of women, and as such, women had coequal, if not superior, power within the household. Not only that, but if a woman left her husband, these crafts could provide a means of living.
Have you ever taken a history class (I'm sure you have, being interested in law...)? Industrialization was a catalyst for feminism. Industrialization allowed for women to breach the confines of domesticity and enter into the workforce alongside men (though admittedly in inferior positions to men, initially). It allowed for unions and more independence from men, and the fact that they received pay for their work allowed for women to realize that they were inherently valuable by quantifiable measures of value (ie, money). You think industrialization has served to decrease the female gender's power? Really?After industrialization, all these crafts were replaced by factory goods. Like you said, the women could just pick them up at the department store... but you need money for that. The only means of making money were in the factory jobs that men worked, and the ones women worked were much lower paying. This also fundamentally changes the power dynamic of the household: not only could the woman buy goods, so could the man. She was indispensable no longer. As such, the man was the only outwardly productive member of the household, and controlling the majority of the wealth, had unquestioned dominion over it.
I agree with this! But that does not mean that women are viewed as inherently inferior to men. That just means that there is a societal stigma against female sexuality, and instead of trying to change this stigma by convincing society that female sexuality != sluttiness, women just need to not let such arbitrary social paradigms influence their actions. Women are not overtly punished by behaving in a sexually promiscuous way; they just get their feelings hurt when people call them a slut and the sense of being outcast when such insults are thrown at them. If women unite to change the way women react to societal stigmas, allowing for women to just essentially say "Yeah, so what? I am a sexual being, and I enjoy sex. I'm going to indulge in sexual pleasures just like you men do. What's the problem with that?", then problems like these can be easily eliminated. Eventually if enough women are proud of their sexuality and expressive about their sexual pride, then it won't be a societal stigma anymore. It's about female psychological empowerment, not direct elimination of societal stigmas. We can't tell society to not believe in something; we have to prove to them why such beliefs are invalid. That's what I mean by a shift in a female's frame of mind (or, as you stated it, "what she thinks of the situation") being the solution to this kind of issue.If I sleep with a lot of girls, I'm a player. If a girl sleeps with a lot of guys, she's a slut. This is regardless of what she may think of the situation; we're talking about societal paradigms here. Society and its views and norms permeate and influence the way we think about the most mundane of subjects.
Because women don't know as much about cars as men do (stereotypically), so they are more easily tricked into thinking a vehicle is a good deal? It'd probably be easier to convince a man to buy silk lingerie or some expensive perfume for his wife than it would be to convince a woman to buy some silk lingerie or expensive perfume, as women stereotypically know more about this subject and thus won't be tricked into thinking something is a good deal.Think of something as simple as a car sale. Yes, the salesman is trying to get as much money as he can from any customer. However, in general, they prefer female customers. Why do you think this is, given that women can be particularly cagey bargain-seekers in other, more self-serve purchasing environments?
Why do you think it is? Because women are more easily persuaded to spend money? Because people find women to be more easily manipulated? Well yeah, women probably are perceived as being easily manipulated when it comes to purchasing cars, as stereotypically, women don't know as much about or have as much of an interest in cars as men do (stereotypically)...
You think this is indicative of females being viewed as inferior?