In the times of the Renaissance, women began to gain rights. One of these rights was the right to read. Although it was more accepted than it was in the past, many people still disagreed with the thought of women and girls reading.
In a society where many believed that a woman’s place was at home, people feared reading would encourage them differently. The Learned Ladies, comments that reading is not decent, A women shouldn’t know as much as reading allows her to know, and that instead of reading she should pay all of her attention to her household which is more important than what’s going on in books. Martin Luther (Table Talk) thinks women were created to stay at home and care for their family only, because that is the way their bodies are built. French Jesuit, Emond Auger states that women reading will lead to women giving their opinion and stating false information. Writer and historian Theodore Agrippa d’ Aubigne states clearly that unless she is a princess, or are obligated by their rank to, women have no reason to read.
Many people believe that God frowns upon the lesser sex reading. As cited by John Milton (Paradise lost, 1667) man only is for God, and woman is for the God in man, and reading would upset that. Agreeing is the late wife of Louis XIV, Madame De Maintenon, saying nothing is more displeasing to God. “The Abbot and the Learned Lady” states that a woman reading isn’t wrong, unless they try to read Latin, or the bible, which would not protect their chastity.
Even though some people disagree, people like Castiglione (The Courtier) believe that women can understand just as much, if not more than men can, so they should be able to read. The ability to read was given to sons just as much as daughters, so daughters should have opportunities to read states Sir Josiah Child (A New Discourse of Trade). The poet Louise Labe thinks that girls should become better educated on arts, and perhaps less on household chores, women shouldn’t accept...
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