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 that directly affected their lives; they had little or no say in the decision making process.
A Woman’s role was dictated by men. For instance, village women were expected to cook for the family and take good care of their husbands. A woman’s place was the kitchen and nothing more. Oppression was the order of the day both at work place and at home. Where the pay was supposed to be the same, women were paid less. For instance, the same hay making job, a man earned about 8 pence while a woman got 5 pence (Bitel 10).
In medieval towns, life was not any better. Women were prohibited from joining trade. Moreover, skilled jobs were for men only. Women were only allowed less skilled jobs, which involved dressmaking. However, these jobs were very rare and a woman’s only hope was life as a servant for the rich. This was a job that was highly demanding but poorly paid.
Men set highly oppressive laws, which greatly restricted freedom of women. For example, no business premise could be owned by a woman without approval by a council of men (Spielvogel 180). Also, a woman could only marry with the consent of her parents and she could not inherit land particularly if they had surviving brothers.
Most girls as young as ten years were viewed as adults and they were married off to rich men without their consent. Despite their tender age, they were expected to bear children for the husband. Physiologically and psychologically the...