Life For Medieval Women Essay

1426 words - 6 pages

Medieval society was completely dominated by men, making a women’s life at the time difficult. Medieval law at the time stated that women could not marry without their parents consent, could not divorce their husbands, could not own property unless widows, could not inherit land if they had surviving brothers, and could own no business with special permission (Trueman, “Medieval Women”). When a woman married a man, he would get any property she owned and she would forfeit any rights she had to him. When the husband dies she would get one third of the land to live on and support herself. Unmarried women who owned land had the same rights as men (Hull). Whenever a woman got into trouble it would be her closest male relative who would appear in court, not the woman herself (Medieval).
It was also common for richer families to marry off their daughters sooner than poorer families. This was because poorer families needed as much help doing work as they could. Women had no choice in deciding who they got married to, and once married they would be controlled by their husband (Trueman, “Medieval Women”).
Young single women often wore their hair loose, but once married almost all medieval women wore a linen wimple (wrapup) to cover the hair. This was a sign of modesty. Other items worn by medieval women included hair pins, prayer beads, leather purses, woolen knee stockings, and leather shoes (Hull).
Childbirth was the leading cause of death among young women. Approximately 20% of women died in childbirth because of poor medical care. Women who were poor had a lifespan of about 40 years (Trueman, “Medieval Women”). A caesarean section was normally only performed if the mother was dead or dying as it was inevitably fatal for her. Midwives would help the mothers give birth. Their skill was formed over many past experiences with childbirth rather than formal training. Midwives also perform emergency baptisms if the baby was ill or dying (Bovey).
Women had trouble advancing in trade and were usually barred from entering a guild (a group of skilled workers of the same trade). Typical duties would be to take care of the family, work out in the fields, be a servant to rich people, or make some sort of craft like cloths. Here’s a quote from a record in 1461:
"Various people of the weavers' craft in Bristol employ their wives, daughters and maids either to weave at their looms, or to work for someone else at the same craft."
Women would also be paid less than men for doing the same amount of work, an issue that is still around today. For reaping, a peasant man could get 8 pence a day. For the same task, peasant women would get 5 pence. For hay making, men would earn 6 pence a day while women got 4 pence (Trueman, “Medieval Women”). Common jobs for medieval women were shopkeepers, bakers, spinners, alewives, farmers, and silk weavers. There were even some women writers. Women worked more than one job because they got...

Find Another Essay On Life for Medieval Women

Jewish Women in Medieval Ashkenaz Essay

1836 words - 8 pages sphere, while discrimination in education held them back. Baumgarten, who mentions Grossman’s work in Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, and her other novel Mothers and Children: Jewish Family Life in Medieval Europe expanded Grossman’s argument further into the religious sphere, focusing on rituals ,which dominated Jewish society. She focused on empowerment and discrimination women went through in society in relation to the

Religious Women in Medieval Time Essay

1520 words - 6 pages creativity in areas like music, theater, science, and philosophy. These options were monastic life, mysticism and life among the Beguines. Among the women who opted one of these ways of life, were: Hrotswitha, Hildegard and Teresa of Avila, whose work was among the most famous and recognized in the Middle Ages. Monasteries and convents in the Middle Age were like a ray of light in the dark for women in the Middle Ages. Women who found

Effects of Courtly Love on Medieval Women

1514 words - 6 pages This is an essay for my Women's History in Medieval Europe sophomore-level course. It discusses the effect of troubadours and courtly love practices on women of the High Middle Ages. Women were both empowered by these practices and also were made vulnerable.References to texts used in the course are made in parantheticals- not necessary to understanding the essay.Love overcomes both great and small,Love rules, for Love is lord of all."Fealty to

The Role of Women in England’s Medieval Feudal System

2119 words - 8 pages Life in Medieval Europe was governed by the Pyramid-shaped Feudal System. The operation of this system consisted of the lowest peasants at the base and the highest lords at the top. One good thing about the feudal system was that it was possible for everyone to move up in rank. However, it was much harder to women. (Feudalism Pyramid) Women’s standing in this pyramid were determined by the male in her life, whether it be a husband, father, or

An Inquiry Into Femininity: Women in Medieval Epics

1634 words - 7 pages life. Actually the women kind is so sensitive and vulnerable that they do not even attemt to extort what should be given. Still men are indebted something to all women. That is `respect' for all over the world. Ýf ever this is to be attained, the women will serve a better world to all men kind. The most notable assertion against the role of women is put forward by Darwin who claims that women are inferior to men due to sexual selection of

How legal identity of women in Medieval Europe during the twelfth and thirteen centuries reflect and influence other aspects of their identity.

2124 words - 8 pages identity. The legal identity of gender made women identify themselves as inferior, powerless, silent, and unequal. In comparison, Gratian’s text on church laws will also be analyzed, as it offers an opposing argument of women identified as equals to men in Church Law. The identity of inferiority for women was constructed before the Medieval Ages. Medieval law was influenced by Roman law, whose concepts constructed the ecclesiastical, secular law

Annotated Bibliography — Education and Trades of Jewish Women in Pre-1492 Spain Compared With Education and Trades of Jewish Women in Ashkenaz

930 words - 4 pages present day. It has discussed the efforts Jewish women made for their education and economic survival. Baumgarten, Elisheva (2004) Mothers and children: Jewish family life in medieval Europe, Publisher: Princeton University Press In this book, Baumgarten has tried to explain the role of women in the wellbeing of medieval Jewish communities. The book is basically is the history of medieval Jewish families. Baumgarten's main emphasis is on

The Manor

874 words - 4 pages a Serf." The Life of a Serf. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2013. "The Lifestyle of Medieval Peasants." The Lifestyle of Medieval Peasants. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2013. "Manor House." Manor House. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013. "Medieval Life Housing." Medieval Life. N.p., 07 Oct. 2012. Web. 01 Dec. 2013. "Medieval Manor Houses." Medieval Manor Houses., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013. "Medieval Peasant Women." Medieval Peasant Women

Women In Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

1577 words - 6 pages , religion seemed to underlie all walks of the medieval life, and was particularly strict in relation to women and their position. Women were seen in relation to the prism of virginity as a reflection of the ultimate symbol of purity and virtue, The Mother of Christ who represented both chastity but also motherhood. All women, those who lived within the society but also those who were dedicated to God, such as nuns, wee compared to the ideal of The

The Women's Place in Medieval Society

613 words - 2 pages Life in the medieval society was one of the most painful for women. It was evident by the high level of exploitation and oppression of women. At a time when wealthy men enjoyed stylish life, women had very hard times. Comfort was not a privilege but a luxury that only few women could afford. Men completely dominated the society and any concrete decision to be made was their preserve (Spielvogel 179). Women were not consulted even in matters

Peasant Life in the Middle Ages

1309 words - 5 pages the peasants had to give a tithe or one tenth of everything they produced (crops, eggs, animals) to the church” (Medieval Life). Even though they paid for everything they done the men and women worked hard for any amount of money they could get to fend for their household. Women’s work was not hard it was mostly easy. Women’s work was taking care of their household, cleaning, and cooking. Their work was highly affected by people. “There is no

Similar Essays

The Change Of Status For The Women Of Medieval Europe

925 words - 4 pages The Change of Status for the Women of Medieval Europe Throughout the ages, women have been seen as subservient and compliant towards men. The spawning of the medieval age, however, brought about numerous changes for the benefit of the female gender. Women's status in northern and southern Europe improved drastically both privately (through property rights and more input in family matters), and publicly (owing to job advancements and education

The Daily Life For Women Who Worked On Mills And Farms

987 words - 4 pages During the 19th and early 20th centuries, women have made great strides towards equality During the 19th and early 20th centuries, women have made great strides towards equality. The 19th century saw the emergence of women entering the work force, gaining economic freedom, starting and participating in movements and most importantly, challenging the traditional and excepted role of women. Along the path for women's social and

Life For Women In Australia Changed Greatly During The 20th Century. Discuss This Statement.

1381 words - 6 pages family and the workplace. Victory in this conflict has inculcated self esteem and moral of a very high degree. It has also reshaped the role and importance of women in the Australian society.Life for women has been changing rapidly over the past 100 years. This variation in their lifestyles has been stimulated and is closely linked with the constantly changing roles of women in the society. In Australia, life for women was filled with hardships

Medieval Women Essay

1159 words - 5 pages of Haereth, she “was not niggardly, nor too sparing of gifts to the men of the Geats” (33). These two women are in contrast with Modthryth, a folk-queen who orders any man (other than her lord) who looks at her to be killed and is viewed negatively because “one who weaves peace should [not] take away the life of a beloved man after pretended injury” (33). In other words, it is unacceptable for a woman to have a mind killed for unjust reasons