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Position of Women in the 16th century
Transcript of Position of Women in the 16th century
Michael Struffolino Position of Women in the 1600s When girls turned 12, they could legally get married although most were arranged. This didn't apply to the poorest of people. Divorces were not allowed, however marriages could be annulled.
The majority of women married in their mid-20s.
Married women were supposed to obey their husbands (a writer in the mid-17th century said that women and horses needed to be 'well governed'. Another in the late 17th century urged men to treat their wives gently.)
If the wife murdered her husband than the punishment was burning
many women would die after giving birth due to poor sanitation and infection
Rich women tended to give birth more often than poor women because they had wet nurses (breast feeding reduced fertility)
Mothers were expected to have a son to take over the family wealth.
married woman could not own property and legally everything she had belonged to her husband.
If a woman was divorced, she would be stripped of all real-estate property and would be frowned upon by society. Women would often times, stay at home and take care of the children, as well as do other things around the house which included making clothes, food and beer or ale. They were teachers to their children (unless they could afford a tutor) Most women who had husbands would help them work the fields in the mornings and then would clean up around their house, or if their husbands owned businesses, they would help them take care of the shops. Childhood Caucasian women during the early 17th century had the privilege of learning basic reading and writing skills.
After achieving basic education, women were trained to become mothers and house wives.
Few women continued past the basic learning and most were discouraged to achieve more education. Married Life Duties of the Household Classes In the 1600's the role of women was defined by what class one was in.
Royalty Bibliography http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/women_in_tudor_england.htm
http://hoocher.com/George_Catlin/Portrait_of_a_Woman_1825.jpg How women were perceived During this time, a centuries-long debate known as "La Querelles des Femmes" was occurring in which men argued that women were not capable of higher thinking because their skulls were smaller. They also said that because women's hips were wider, they were naturally meant to be mothers and not to be involved in scientific or political affairs. These are just a few of the many "scientific facts" that authors and scientists through out into society during this time and it had a huge affect on the way women were treated. Due to this thought process, women were very restricted in what they could do within their society. They were not allowed to work in many of the professions that were available to men, so they instead were limited to jobs such as tailors, milliners (a person who designs, makes, or sells women's hats), dyers, shoemakers, embroiderers and some were midwives and apothecaries (pharmacists).