Continuities Between 1450 And 1700 Women

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Major continuities and changes regarding various views of women in the years between 1450 and 1700 include both the continuation of disdain towards women and the emergence of the idea that women are equal to men. Women were often thought to be of less value than men, an idea that originated early in history and progressed throughout this time period. Some men and women began to speak out against inequality and, whether directly or indirectly, influenced new ideas causing others to believe in the power of women.

Many views of women in the years between 1450 and 1700 continued to show the age old idea of women being seen as the inferior gender. James Sprenger and Henry Kramer wrote that women are more likely to be attacked by the devil because they are more naive than men (1). While this idea is not only completely ignorant, it is also in line with the
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Baldassare Castiglione wrote about how a woman's sole purpose is to amuse and entertain men (3). Castiglione’s ideas reflect the patronizing attitude towards men that was seen throughout the era. This book is a reliable source because it is aimed at women seeking to become the proper lady as it gives advice on how to achieve that status, while showing historical truth because the author genuinely wants all women to behave in this manner. John Knox attacked women in positions of power by saying that they are cruel, weak, and insulting to God (5). This idea is not an uncommon one as female leaders were continually mocked throughout history. Queen Elizabeth I spoke about her faults as a woman and the fact that she, a woman, has a “heart and stomach of a king” (6). This shows that women were aware they were being looked down upon as they compared a strong heart and stomach to one that only a king could have. This speech shows that its
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