Women of the Medieval Period

Women during Medieval Times: Imagine living your life as a women during the Medieval times. No personal or legal freedom, you can not do anything with out having permission from a male in your family. In this paper I am going to talk about what life was like for the women who lived through the medieval period compared to women living today in the 20th century. Living life during the medieval period was much different than the life we live today for many reasons, but especially being a women. Women during the medieval period were below men, they were ruled by the males in their families, or once married by their husbands.

They were to obey and serve the male family members. Girls that did not respect and do what the men said, were beaten, and not obeying the men was considered a religious crime. But women with a lot of land were considered equal to men and had the same rights a men. If the wives husband dies, the wife would be responsible for taking care of the large estate. At this time it was believed that the purpose for women was the be servants for the males, do as they say, take care of the house, and have to children and take care of them. Marriage at this time was much different than what we think of marriage today.

During this time, you did not mary because you were in love with someone. The reasoning for marriage during medieval period was just the opposite. Most of the time you did not get to choose who you were going to be marrying, it was arranged by the families, depending on wealth. The law said that the males had full rights over his wife, once you were married, your husband owned you. The wife was the husbands property. Duties of wives during this time were to take care of the house and have children. A married women would usually have anywhere from four to eight children, and normally one will die.

Women on average would live to about fourty years of age. Marie de France, a noble French women, was the first female writer from France. She wrote the story, Laustic which is a story of two knights and their wives and the love scandal they have going on between their homes. In this story, the wife of one of the knights is in love with a knight that lives in the house next to her and her husbands. This knight is also in love with her. Every night the women gets out of bed with her husband and goes to her bedroom window which looks at the knights house, and they look at each other and talk.

The women’s husband begins to notice her out of bed and at the window ever night. He asked her the reasoning for this and she says that she is listening to a bird, because it brings her much joy. Her husband gets angry at this and tell his servants to kill the bird. They do so and bring it to him, where he kills it with his bare hands. He then throws the dead bird at his wife. She is very upset that he would do such a thing, but the woman can not do anything about this. She can not disobey her husband, or let him know that she is in love with another man.

She has no choice but to stay with him and do as he says. In todays world, sadly if you are married and are not happy, or are in love with someone else you get a divorce, and its over, you move on. During the medieval time never would you ever hear of a women not happy with her husband so she left him. Today women have every right that men do. You can say and do pretty much anything you want. Women today can get the same education that men can, but during medieval times, most women did not get any education.