Role of Women in the 1500s

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A woman’s roll in today’s society is just about as equal as a mans, or any other persons that I know. A woman may vote, work a “guys” job or even run or manage a company. The question is, what was a women’s roll in society in the 1500’s or later? What did a woman do in the house hold, or business? Women’s rights were not always that of a mans so how did women live back in the day of our ancestors? Those are the questions I will be getting to the bottom of. A women’s role in the world open to a new perspective in one small paper. Close your eyes and try to picture a medieval woman. I wonder, was she a woman sitting near a window, doing needlework and waiting for her lord to come home from battle? These images have been branded not only in our minds but the general public as well through literature and current media such as motion pictures and romantic fiction. How realistic of a picture does this pose to the general public? These women did needlework yes, but could also be a very influential force in medieval society. Depending on your definition of power, these women exercised much more power or "influence" than many resources have revealed to us in the past. If you think of power as the ability to act effectively on persons or things, and authority or influence as recognized and legitimized power, women could use power quite often and authority was reserved for men. Discovering the life of a medieval woman can be a lot tougher than tracing that of a man. There are fewer resources available for us to trace a medieval woman's way of life as opposed to that of a man with equal station at the time. Manorial Court Rolls do not show, as example, a woman's private influence over her husband, only the legal matters involved in the case. This leaves little room for individuality. It is however, a view focused on essential activities. In addition, illiteracy was common among the peasants so there aren't many diaries or memoirs to use as a resource for the daily life of...
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