Introduction Women in the Middle ages were treated as the second class members within their social class. They were taught to be obedient to their husbands and were expected to run the household and raise children. Their role in the society, however, was much more complex, while some medieval women achieved a high level of equality with men. In the Middle Ages women had a secondary role, coming second after men. Women’s life was divided between family, marriage and religion. The women’s main concern and responsibility was the procreation. In those times, family was very big so the typical role of the woman was that to be a good wife and a good mother. Some of them tried emancipation but they were blamed by society for this. These were the witches, …show more content…
The Catholic Church was not only a system which contended with secular potentates for governing power, it also maintained an ideal of morality. From the earliest times there appears to have existed among the Teutonic and Celtic peoples so much respect for women as to form a foundation on which the Christian doctrine of marriage, virginity and equality of sexes could be built. Monogamy was the common practice, but polygamy was not unknown, especially among the Danes and Northmen. As soon as those nations were converted to Christianity, the Church assumed the regulation of morals. Monogamy was insisted upon, divorce and re-marriage became more difficult. Concubinage, though it could not be abolished, ceased to be lawful. A general rule is that respect for women is only found in a society in which monogamy is the rule. We must distinguish between the affected idolatry which was enjoyed by the customs of chivalry and the equality which was upheld by the Church. The doctrine of the spiritual equality of women, the sanctity of the marriage, and the rules of consanguinity, divorce and remarriage, though sometimes perverted to ambitious purposes, nevertheless were powerful engines influencing the Roles of Women in the Middle Ages, and raising their condition in the
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
During the Middle Ages, women held the common positions of wife, mother, peasant, artisan, or nun. Besides taking on these traditional roles, Heloise was a brilliant “scholar of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and had a reputation for intelligence and insight” (New World Encyclopedia). She was raised in the nunnery of Argenteuil, where her mother lived. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, male primogeniture was established, this allowed for the eldest son to inherit all the property instead of sharing it among the family. In this period, “many wealthy women chose to live in monasteries, where they could receive education” (New World Encyclopedia).
As Berkin explains, “the father took care to see that his sons learned to read and also write and do sums; for his daughter…it was enough that she could read and sew” (4). Additionally, there were many sacrifices required to wed. A single woman had rights to legal matters, work, property, and heirs to name a few. However, Berkin describes marriage as an, “exchange of her legal persona for the protection and support of her husband” (14). The women were stripped of all possessions and treated as children or criminals within the law (14).
Throughout the 15th century through the 17th century the status of women is exemplified to be that of a subordinate position through the readings of “The Passion of Artemisia” by Susan Vreeland, McKay textbook chapter 13 reading and the DBQ “Did Women Have a Renaissance”. Traditional societal values and ideals, blinded many to the accomplishments and potential of females and continued to perpetuate a culture that valued and identified women with domestic work and motherhood. The institutionalized ignorance and ingrained bias of society helped to propel forward the systematic oppression of women whos minute sphere of influence equaled to less political power and property ownership. Subjected to violence, ridicule, discrimination and
The largest part focuses on the valuation of virginity and taking action as a Protestant, as Argula von Grumbach, in male inaction as doctrinally sound. For the Catholic reformation, Wiesner argues women’s most impressive role came from remedying their husband’s Protestantism, most dramatically in England and Ireland, but not unknown in Italy. Many of the converting practices adopted like homes for repentant prostitutes and foundling homes eventually found place in Orthodox religions under Peter the Great. (241) Jewish women faced similar patriarchal issues as Christian women, with the added pressures of torture, exile, and murder at a governmental level. (250) Muslim women of the period, called “Moriscos” faced marriages similar to those practiced by Catholic women in which conversion dominated their religious involvement.
It could be considered that at first look, Merry Wiesner-Hanks investigates an alternative view of the early modern world in terms of the history behind Christianity and Sexuality in the Early Modern World. Wiesner-Hank’s viewpoint moves on from her earlier studies in women and gender in Europe and instead investigates Latin America, Asia, Africa and North America within her renaissance studies of “how Christian ideas and institutions shaped sexual attitudes and activities from roughly 1500-1750”. This in depth examination of the concept of sexuality and the way that it is underpinned by religious life and institutions is divided into six chapters. Her chapters explore the context of sexuality within history, including women’s history, legal
The aftermath of the forced conversions of Jews in the medieval sparked a concern on the implications of interfaith sex and focused on how this affected women. With the conversion of many Jews to Christianity, clergy realized that practicing a different religion did not change a person’s physical attributes, specifically their blood. Women were particularly targeted because as the gender that determines the religion of a baby, women were most susceptible to becoming impregnated by a man considered to be Christian only by faith and not by blood, calling into question the child’s true religion. Initially, it seemed that the goal was to convert the Jews, until it was realized and understood that a person who was once a Jew will always be a Jew and forced conversions only blurred the lines and caused confusion. Both Nirenberg and Furst examine two situations, the Iberian scenario and medieval Ashkenaz respectively, in which the role of women and sex generated anxieties.
This is important as the change in education implemented the idea that educated women would divert from Christian values but a man strongly opposing the idea dismisses it, and lends a supportive perspective of educated women. However, something that is not showcased in this document is that women were taught theology, basic arithmetic, and language which limited them to their lives at home. Not being so educated in a vast variety of subjects like the men of their times eventually led to the downfall of women. They lost power and and didn’t have a very crucial role in shaping
As Richard Steele tried to define women, he said that '' a woman is a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother, a mere appendage of the human race…'' Here as we can see, a woman from the moment that she was born, not as she was, regardless of social background, were defined by her relationship with a man. She was respectively under the responsibility of her father and her husband, so women should honor both of them and must obey both. During the marriage process, the contribution of women was very significant in terms of the construction of new family. This implementation was applied in the upper and middle classes of the society throughout the early modern period in a rigid way. Families from these groups do prenuptial agreements for their children because at that time the marriage was not just a decision of the two people, it was decided collectively.
Women of the Medieval Times Women have always had a significant role in history even though they were treated horrible in most cases. During the Medieval Times was really the first time women were allowed to become more than just a house wife. The fight for equality has always been a struggle and even in today’s society is still an ongoing battle. Although women of lower and middle class were treated poorly in the Medieval Times, some powerful women held great responsibility and were looked up too by both men and children; despite being admired, “men were thought to be not only physically stronger but more emotionally stable, more intelligent, and morally less feeble” (Hopkins 5). “The position of women in the Medieval Society was greatly influenced by the views of the Roman Catholic Church” (Heeve).
Throughout the 16th century Reformation through the Enlightenment in the 18th century, was a period of time that saw both change and continuation in European society. One of the biggest examples of this was the role of women and how they should function in European society. Women in this era faced a large amount of hardships and obstacles from great leaders and philosophers such as Martin Luther and Immanuel Kant, who were both against the equality of women to men at this time. From the time period of the 16th century Reformation all the way up to the Enlightenment in the 18th century, the women of Europe were viewed as fragile and unworkable women whose main priority and purpose should only be being a housewife. As time progressed, women
The bubonic plague drastically changed medieval European society. It weakened the economy and affected the role women play in society. The black death sparked religious movements and shaped beliefs. The Mongols occupied an area extending from Russia to China. Therefore, there were many trade roads in the empire, and Mongol rule kept Eurasian trade avenues in check.
During this time “A woman's most important commodity was her virginity,” (Murphy 1). It was important to society that women were virgins before marriage and when married they were to have many children. When a woman was married she lost her rights to own property and business, their husbands became guardians over them and gained full control of all property, businesses and land they owned before marriage (Vann 1). Before marriage a woman had some control over her own life but as soon as she was married it was expected that the husband would take over and make decisions for
Zophy writes of women, “for the most part, did not have much of a “renaissance” ” (Zophy 3). In “The Family”, Alessandria, a woman attempts to connect her exiled soon with a prospective bride with the help of a man, only to fall short in her attempts. This reveals the power dynamics between men and women. Regardless of the gender, both men and women were married to each other with the parentings arranging the ordeal.
Thus, female sexual power was praised when working in the favor of a man, but resulted in a loss of social standing if it worked against a man’s or a family’s agenda, political or otherwise. This paper will examine how female sexual morality worked in this system of constantly changing allegiances and under which circumstances traditional morality was used or ignored. Moreover, the altered moral systems set in place ultimately lead to a glass-ceiling for female power in Ancient Rome even if some women could obtain power through using her sexuality or lack of sexuality. In Ancient Rome, elite women had much more freedom than those in many other cultures in the ancient world.