History 103 World Civilizations I
March 5, 2012
Role of Women in Society until the 1500’s
A woman in today’s society is somewhat equal to a man’s, or any other person for that matter. Things back before the 1500’s were very strict for women, women basically had no rights. Women had no right to vote, no freedom of speech, women did not work back in the 1500’s they were stay at home mom’s, and took care of their households, and wifely duties. In the ancient times women had their places, and what their roles were supposed to be. It was very important for a woman to know what her role in life is, and how to handle herself. In many countries, the women had very similarities, and a few differences. Women in Greece, Egypt, Rome, and Israel had a lot of the same struggles and hardships. The women of today are still playing roles as mothers, wives, and child bearers. During the Ancient times otherwise known as Ancient Civilization women were sometimes misunderstood because of the different roles they played. In the global perspective, many cultures are similar, and some have contrast. Women in the countries of Greece, Egypt, Rome, and Israel are a few places that women’s cultures are mentioned and foretold. What were their roles? Who were they? Where did the live? How were they treated? Were they treated fairly, or did they have equal rights like some of the societies do today? And how did their role affect others? Although women did not have freedom back in the 1500’s, some societies still practice the same roles today, as back then. Knowing how they lived their lives shows that some traditional things they did back before the 1500’s are roles that women are still practicing today. “Throughout most of history women generally have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men. Wifehood and motherhood were regarded as women’s most significant professions. In the 20th century, however, women in most nations won the right to vote and increased their educational and job opportunities. Perhaps most important they fought for and to a large degree accomplished a reevaluation of traditional view of their roles in society.”(Women History in America, 1994 p.1) Women were considered weaker than men, unable to perform work that requires muscular or intellectual development. In most preindustrial societies, the domestic chores were for the women, leaving the heavier labor like hunting and plowing to men. They ignore the fact that caring for children, and doing tasks as milking cows, and washing laundry also required heavy labor. Maternity and child bearing were a natural role that a woman performed; this led to stereotyping that women belonged in the home. Tradition has it that a middle class girl in Western Culture tender to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Cooking, cleaning, and caring for the children were something that was expected when she grew up. The reason for this was as they were growing up their own expectations had been declined because neither their family nor teachers expected them to prepare for a future other than to get married and bear children. “Throughout history, most societies have held women in an inferior status compared to that of men. Thus situation was often justified as being the natural result of biological differences between the sexes. In many societies, for example people believed women to be naturally more emotional and less decisive than men. Women were also held to be less intelligent and less creative by nature. But research shows that women and men have the same range of emotional, intellectual, and creative characteristics. Many sociologists and anthropologists maintain that various cultures have taught girls to behave according to negative stereotypes (images) of femininity, thus keeping alive the idea that women are naturally inferior.”(Giele, J. Z. 2012) In...