The Renaissance: The Roles Of Women During The Renaissance

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Gender is a concept which corresponds to the allocation of behaviours, roles, ideas and attitudes according to a sexual category. So the fact of being a woman or a man influences the way the person will be raised.
The Renaissance (also called Early modern period) is a period situated between the middle Ages and the classical period, that is since the end of the 15th century until the 18th century. During this period, there is a profound transformation and a big social renewal in Western Europe. This movement begins first of all in Italy, before gaining France and then the rest of Europe. The Renaissance finds its origin in the demographic growth, the urbanization and the appearance of the bourgeoisie. Jules Michelet, a French historian, is …show more content…

The society, and more precisely men, didn’t understand why the ‘weaker vessel’ should be educated, and thought it wasn’t important. Thus, women did not receive a very important education. Girls went to school to learn the basics, like reading and sometimes writing, but never stayed long . Girls were taught how to be good wife and a good mother, and to take care of her household. Fletcher explains that a woman ‘had been well-trained for the role of household manager in adolescence’ . Nevertheless, some women had the privilege to be properly educated. The best example would be Margaret Roper, who was Thomas More’s daughter. He encouraged her to study a lot of subjects traditionally taught to women, but also subjects seen as “male” subject, such as …show more content…

Indeed, Montaigne, a French philosopher and humanist, had a harder opinion on the idea of women’s education. For him, women should only study what is necessary to know how to be patient, obedient and resigned. According to him, the only thing, which women have of superior, is beauty . Montaigne shows two reasons to prove that women should have a limited access to knowledge. First of all, he thinks that they are not capable to reach the intellectual level of men. Furthermore, an over-educated woman could then surpass the intellectual abilities of her husband . It is thus necessary, for the good of the social order to limit their access to knowledge. In continuation, Vivés, a Valencian scholar and humanist who lived in the sixteenth century, recommended an education based on readings and writings, but added women shouldn’t neglect household work, such as learning how to cook or to hold a needle for example. Their only task was to please their husbands by using their natural charms and their conversation, they had to help them in domestics affairs and they had to raise the children in a Christian way

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