Honour Among Woman in Colonial Latin America

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In colonial Latin America, one aspect of life that was constantly under attack and had to be guarded at all costs was the ideal of one's Honour. Women in colonial Latin America had to especially be on their guard to protect their honour, as an unanswered attack to their honour could ruin a family's honour. But if a woman's honour was attacked there were ways for her to protect it. The honour women possessed at the time was said to be not as important as the honour of a man, but it is, in fact, more important then the man's. By using Richard Boyer's document Catarina Maria Complains That Juan Teioa Forcibly Deflowered Her and Sonya Lipsett-Rivera's document Scandal at the Church: Jose de Alfaro Accuses Dona Theresa Bravo and Others of Insulting and Beating His Castiza Wife, Josefa Cadena we will examine how important honour was for a woman and how they could go about restoring their honour. Boyer's article will show how an event against a female can affect her entire family and how an insult to her honour could be pursued in the judiciary system. Lipsett-Rivera's document reviews honour among women of different classes and how insults are handled in the judiciary system. Honour among women in colonial Latin America was a very important part of a woman's life. The social standing of an individual was closely linked to honour. Women of upper class were born with honour, so thusly, by trying to protect their honour they were also safeguarding their social status in a community. Three main factors were bound to a woman's honour first to keep their virginity till marriage, second to remain loyal to their husband and to remain chaste as a widow. These factors if discarded or broken brought not only dishonour to the woman but to her father, brother, husband and ultimately her entire household. Sexual behavior had much to due with one'; reputation and honour. For the most part women were disgraced by accusations to sexual indiscretions. Commonly women were accused...
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