Birth of Thought, Death of Woman
Throughout history, there have always been divisions in the experiences of women and men. They have never had the same standards and expectations. Hence we cannot look at the experiences of the realm of men to answer the realities of the lives of when during similar time periods. An example of a shift of thought and lifestyle is portrayed in European societies that transferred from Feudalism into the era of the Renaissance. Examples of such shifts include the power that was granted and accepted of women, and their roles in love.
An individual that demonstrates how women were perceived in terms of power was Joan of Arc. She was burned at the stake because she defied the norms of what was expected of women. All of these female figures of power only got to that point because of the absence of masculinity, Whether it was missing 'husbands, dead fathers, and immature sons' (187). They all realized that their position was tentative, and only because of special circumstances- they were by no means the norm. That is unfortunate because female figures such as Caterina Sforza assumed roles of military power and still operated as successful as was expected from a male- she defended her city from greater number of besiegers. Unfortunately, in a time where military power converted to governship, women like Sforza and Joan were clearly unsuccessful. Very few in that sense were, and even those who did gain governship (like Catherine de'Medici) were already in a lofty position. Those who did were under intense scrutiny of men who were convinced that women when women ruled, 'the blind lead the sited, the sick the robust..' (189). However, during feudalistic times, women had control of entire baronies and fiefs as part of their dowries and became rulers unto their own lanes. Shifting away from that period, the women of the ruling classes during Renassancian times did not rule, but only shared certain prerogatives of leadership. They usually...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document