I was wrong…

As I posted my new post for my crochet blog, I realized that I had this blog. A blog that was dormant for over a year.

As I looked back on my posts, I cringed as I stared into the face of an angry woman. A woman who had been hurt, seen others dear to her hurt and she was angry. So angry that she released a torrent of abuse, claiming it was for the betterment of the world, claiming it was for equality, claiming that she didn’t view all men this way. But in the end, her hate burst through.

Why was she so angry? She had been in a church that told her self-worth was tied to a ring on her finger, that her God-given beauty was a shameful thing, that being a woman was to be despised. She watched her mother be abused by these teachings and the man that she had loved had ripped her heart out and smashed it into a million pieces far away from home.

Why does it matter that I write this? Why don’t I just erase what was said? Because this is the internet and people have read these posts, maybe not a lot of people. But even one person is too many. I don’t want someone to read what I have written in naivety and anger and use that against good men, Christian or not.

My life has changed significantly, God brought healing. He brought friends, teachers and eventually my husband. I still struggle with these issues and I probably won’t ever stop struggling with the hurt from the past. But my brothers who have done no harm shouldn’t pay for my pain.

Now I don’t mean to say that history is wrong. Women have been abused by men throughout history, that is true and it will continue to be so till Christ comes back to make all things new. But the point where I went wrong is that I wrote these essays in a biased manner that was abusive to men, who have also been made in the image of God. Sometimes it’s not what you did, but why you did it. The facts are correct, the sources are there, you can see them, but I wrote these in a meditated effort to spit back at those who hurt me and I ended up hurting innocent men.

So if you are a man reading these and feeling attacked. Please accept my humblest apologies.

If you are a woman who has been hurt by men and looking for ways to appease your anger. Please reach out to me. I would love to share my story in detail with you and give you encouragement.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Now one last note, you may wonder why I have left these posts up even after I have written this post. Because I want people to see that I have changed and that people can change. These hurtful words can be redeemed and you can see how God has changed my life.


My Thoughts On Married Life (After Three Weeks)

Last month I got married to the man I love. We met in December, began dating on Valentine’s Day, got engaged at the end of May, then got married the end of September. (I’m sorry Mom and Dad.)

After coming back from the honeymoon and lived together for two weeks, people have been asking us “how’s married life?” As I’ve been talking to people, more thoughts have been floating in my head, so I thought “why not write it all out?”

“How’s Married Life?”

Well, first off I can say it’s not what I expected. I’m not sure what I thought married life would be like, but it’s been a strange ride so far.

There are so many things that change when you get married, I know that many people nod and say “well, of course, there are things that change.” But I mean the small things along with the big things.

I don’t have my own bed anymore, I share a bed with my husband, I have to wake up to him every morning and go sleep next to him every night. my spouse comes before anyone else.

When I make decisions, I have to think about him in addition to myself, my schedule isn’t my own anymore. When we have fights, I can’t stomp home and make up the next morning. Habits that I didn’t know my spouse had come out (Annoying, strange, or even plain gross.) and vice versa.

When we have fights, I can’t stomp home and make up the next morning. Habits that I didn’t know my spouse had come out (Annoying, strange, or even plain gross.) and vice versa.

Living with someone else is new and different. For personal reasons, my husband lived with my family for four months. I remember thinking to myself “oh, we’re living in the same space. When we get married I’ll know how to live with him. This’ll be easy!” …I was very wrong.  To be clear, living with my husband isn’t horrible, I love it! But living in the same space and living together are two completely different ideas.

Forgiveness, grace and a need for Christ are a must! We are both sinners so we will (and have) sinned against each other. Part of being married that I have discovered is forgiving each other continuously. I suppose that’s why Jesus said to forgive each other 70 times 7. (Matthew 18:21-22) 

Marriage calls for sacrifice. Sometimes on both sides, sometimes just one end. Sometimes that sacrifice is doing the dishes when your spouse is too tired to do it. Sometimes it means staying awake till four in the morning in the ER with your spouse.

Something that has been increasingly dawning on me is that some things in life you cannot possibly understand until you have experienced it. Nothing can prepare you for what marriage is like. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew what it would be like living together. I thought I knew from reading articles, watching other Christian couples how to love and interact with each other. It wasn’t until after I got married that I realized. “I have no idea what I’m doing!” 

Those words were exactly what I told my father when I came back from my honeymoon. He laughed and said, “You don’t know what it’s like until you’ve experienced it.”

To be clear none of this is to say that marriage is bad or that I’m not happy. Quite the contrary, I’m actually very happy. God gave me a wonderful man for me to go through life with and, if the Lord allows it, grow old together.

I cannot say that I’m an expert. I’ve only been married three weeks (going a month next week). These are merely concepts that I have only just discovered.

I hope that this answers the question of how married life has been for me. It’s been a strange and wonderful ride to figure out what is normal and discovering new things about God and my spouse every day. I hope that I can continue this journey for many years to come.

Valentine’s Day: From a Single’s Perspective

Valentine’s Day can be the hardest time of the year if you are single. It seems that everyone around you has someone to be with and you are the only one who is doomed to spend eternity alone.
Believe me, as a single woman I know how it feels. Especially when you used to be in a relationship and even now you’re still somewhat getting used to not being in one.

It can be easy to sit around and mope with a gallon of ice cream while sobbing over your favorite chick flick, but that’s not good for you. It’s not good for me. So this year, I want to propose 5 ways we can make this one of the best Valentine’s Day we’ve ever had being single!

 1.  Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just for couples!

Who says that Valentine’s Day has to be about just romantic love? Celebrate Valentine’s Day by telling your friends how much you care about them, so whip out those Star Wars valentines and give them to your friends!

2. Be happy for your friends who are in relationships
And I don’t mean “grin and bear it” I mean genuinely be happy for them. Ask them what they’re going to be doing. This is possibly an important weekend for them. Make them feel special and happy that you care!

3. Hang out with your single friends
Instead of moping by yourself, invite your other single friends who aren’t doing anything and hang out! Go out for dinner, watch a movie, or play games!

4. Don’t do anything stupid!
Don’t be that person who sees another single person and then wakes up the next morning with your best friend next to you…just don’t do anything you’ll regret.

5. Embrace being single
Now, as your reading this, please don’t see me as someone above you looking down and shaming you. No! These are all things I struggle with myself. We can be so focused on finding someone that we can lose the some of the great aspects of being single. We are free to do what we want or need to do. 
For example I am available to help out with more things, like volunteer for church events, community service, or even just babysitting a friend’s kids. Another example, I could go and write novels in my room for an entire month without any interaction with humankind. 😉

Now please don’t read this as a we should all be single forever, because I certainly want to find someone and hold the hands of the man I love. But perhaps in this time right now we can take the time devote time to our passions and really get to know who we are as human beings. We can mature and grow.

Perhaps with a little sunshine and water, we’ll all be even better partners than we could have ever been than if we were to date someone right now. So give it time, maybe we don’t need to find someone right now. I don’t know about you but I’m going to go and work on my music and YouTube channel, what are you going to do?

Fairer Sex: World Wars!

As of April 17th, 2019 I would encourage you to read this post

(I apologize for not coming out with this last week. I’ve been kind of busy and tired. This post may be less than par than usual. I apologize for this)

The world is at war and everyone contributing to the cause in some way. Whether it is actual fighting on the front lines or volunteering at the Red Cross at home. The World Wars were the turning point for women in the industry and society.

Rosie the Riveter is a iconic figure from World War II. She was created to  be a morale booster.

Rosie the Riveter is a iconic figure from World War II. She was created to be a morale booster.

Now women have already been working for years now, but mostly in poor-paying positions that didn’t promise much advancement- if any. But when most of the men left to go to war there was a gap in the workforce, so the people to pick up the slack were the women left behind.

From 1940-1945, the female working demographic went from 27-37%! That’s a 10% jump, in fact, by 1945, 1 out of 4 married had jobs outside of the home. They took on all sorts of jobs such as factory workers, x-ray technicians, secretaries, beat officers, conductresses for street cars; the list is near to endless.

Women during the world wars didn’t just take up jobs that were needed. Some women also served in the army. 70% of women who worked in the army were typists, clerks, and mail sorters. Now this might sound boring, but these were important jobs and now it no longer mattered whether you were a man or a women, but if you could do the job.

Now that previous sentence isn’t completely true. Because during World War I there was an issue of women being paid significantly less than their male counterparts. Throughout the years there were several strikes by women to have more equal pay. On example would be in 1910 at Cradley Heath, England, there were women who worked in a factory as chain makers. The regular minimum wage at the time was 26 shillings for men and 11 shillings for women. But at this factory the workers were being paid 5 to 6 shillings for a 54 hour week. The women went on strike and got a new wage at 11 shillings and 3d.

Another job that women participated in was the WASP organization (Women Air force Service Pilots). These women would fly newly made air crafts to military bases within the US. But sadly the program was closed down and records and documents of the program were sealed for 35 years.

But it wasn’t only the workplace that changed. Women’s clothing styles were also getting increasingly shorter in order to conserve cloth for the soldiers. Instead of wearing floor length dresses women were increasingly wearing knee to calves length dresses and skirts. The age of the floor length dress came to an end.

Sadly at the end of the Wars, instead of greeted with gratitude many women were sacked so that the jobs could be given back to men. The women who weren’t sacked were paid a lower wage then men. Disappointing as it was, it set the stage for future women and their job opportunities.

(Again I apologize for the lateness and shortness of this post. I hope to get back on track next week)

Read more and Citations
















http://www.striking-women.org/module/women-and-work/world-war-i-1914-1918#Women,Wages and Rights



The Fairer Sex: Women’s Right to Vote: Susan B Anthony

As of April 17th, 2019 I would encourage you to read this post.

Welcome to another post in the series “The Fairer Sex”. This is week five, we only have four more weeks. Here the list of topics again if you wanted to see them:

Week 1: Introduction

Week 2: Ancient Women

Week 3: Medieval Women

Week 4: Victorian Women

Week 5: Women’s Right To Vote: Susan B Anthony

Week 6: World War Women

Week 7: Modern Women

Week 8: Religion and Women

Week 9: Conclusion

Today’s subject is on Susan Brownell Anthony, or as she is more famously known: Susan B. Anthony. Susan was born on February 15th 1820 in Adams, MA. If you’ve studied your American History then you know that she is most famously known for winning the right for women to vote in 1920.

Susan came from a Quaker family that was committed to Social Equality. Susan’s father encouraged her and her siblings, regardless of sex, to be self-supporting, teaching them business principles and giving them responsibilities at an early age. Her family was also very politically active. Her family was involved in the Abolitionist and Temperance movements. When Susan was seventeen she collected Anti-Slavery Petitions.

Susan’s activism career began when she was a teacher from the age 17 to 29. During her time teaching, Susan discovered that men were being paid significantly more than women for doing the exact same job.While teaching in Canajoharie, New York, Susan saw that male teachers were being paid $10.00 per month (which would have been roughly $271.68 today) and female teachers were being paid $2.50 ($67.92 today). She joined The Teachers Union to fight for equal wages. even after she stopped teaching in 1853, she was still involved in the Teacher’s Union and in a convention she called for better pay, professional recognition, and deeper involvement of women in the movement.

But really her career began when she began to attend conventions for the Temperance movement in the New York State. In 1849, Susan became Secretary For Daughters Of Temperance, here is where she began to speak against alcohol abuse. But this was also where she met her life long friend: Elizabeth Stanton. Together they changed the world.


In a reversal of genders, a “bloomer” asks her fiancé’s shocked father for consent to marry her son: satirical cartoon from 1852 – Wikipedia

During this time there was an article of clothing that was made and made it’s most famous appearance at this point in time. Yes, I am speaking of the Bloomer. The Bloomer at first was just some clothing that was supposed to be a healthier alternative to the long, heavy dresses that women were wearing. But it quickly became a symbol for Women’s Rights, the Bloomer actually got it’s name from Amelia Bloomer, a suffragette and was the editor for the first newspaper for women called “The Lily”. She wrote in the newspaper that she had adopted the dress and explained how to make it. It was thus then dubbed Bloomer’s Dress.

For a while Susan and several suffragette wore bloomers but after a year she and her colleagues went back to more traditional clothing because they discovered people were paying more attention to their clothes then to their ideas.

In 1872, Susan was arrested for illegally voting the Presidential Election. According to “The Trial of Susan B. Anthony” by Ann D. Gordon it says this about the incident:

On November 5, 1872, in the first district of the Eighth Ward of Rochester, New York, Susan B. Anthony and fourteen other women voted in the United States election, which included the election for members of Congress. The women had successfully registered to vote several days earlier. A poll watcher challenged Anthony’s qualifi- cation as a voter. The inspectors of election took the steps required by state law when a challenge occurred: they asked Anthony under oath if she was a citizen, if she lived  in the district, and if she had accepted bribes for her vote. Following her satisfactory answers to these questions, the inspectors placed her ballots in the boxes. The individuals at the polling place revealed the state and federal aspects of Anthony’s crime. Three inspectors of election, local men who also served as a board of registration for voters, enforced the election laws of New York, which allowed all white males and some black males to vote. Since ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, Congress had provided for new federal oversight of elections through several Enforcement Acts, primarily to ensure that all black men be allowed to vote despite state laws, but also to stop fraud and corruption in federal elections. Two federal supervisors of election oversaw the inspectors

The judge declared Susan guilty and charged her a $100 fine, which she never paid. Then the judge asked Susan if she had anything to say and why the sentence should not be pronounced on her.

Judge Hunt—(Ordering the defendant to stand up), Has the prisoner anything to say why sentence shall not be pronounced?

Miss Anthony—Yes, your honor, I have many things to say; for in your ordered erdict of guilty, you have trampled under foot every vital principle of our government. My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all alike ignored. Robbed of the fundamental privilege of citizenship, I am degraded from the status of a citizen to that of a subject; and not only myself individually, but all of my sex, are, by your honor’s verdict, doomed to political subjection under this, so-called, form of government. Judge Hunt—Th e Court cannot listen to a rehearsal of arguments the prisoner’s counsel has already consumed three hours in presenting.

Miss Anthony—May it please your honor, I am not arguing the question, but simply stating the reasons why sentence cannot, in justice, be pronounced against me. Your denial of my citizen’s right to vote, is the denial of my right of consent as one of the governed, the denial of my right of representation as one of the taxed, the denial of my right to a trial by a jury of my peers as an offender against law, therefore, the denial of my sacred rights to life, liberty, property and—

Judge Hunt—The Court cannot allow the prisoner to go on.

Miss Anthony—But your honor will not deny me this one and only poor privilege of protest against this high-handed outrage upon my citizen’s rights. May it please the Court to remember that since the day of my arrest last November, this is the first time that either myself or any person of my disfranchised class has been allowed a word of defense before judge or jury—

Judge Hunt—The prisoner must sit down—the Court cannot allow it.

Miss Anthony—All of my prosecutors, from the 8th ward corner grocery politician, who entered the complaint, to the United States Marshal, Commissioner, District Attorney, District Judge, your honor on the bench, not one is my peer, but each and all are my political sovereigns; and had your honor submitted my case to the jury, as was clearly your duty, even then I should have had just cause of protest for not one of those men was my peer; but, native or foreign-born, white or black, rich or poor, educated or ignorant, awake or asleep, sober or drunk, each and every man of them was my political superior; hence, in no sense, my peer. Even, under such circumstances, a commoner of England, tried before a jury of Lords, would have far less cause to complain than should I, a woman, tried before a jury of men. Even my counsel, the Hon. Henry R. Selden, who has argued my cause so ably, so earnestly, so unanswerably before your honor, is my political sovereign. Precisely as no disfranchised person is entitled to sit upon a jury, and no woman is entitled to the franchise, so, none but a regularly admitted lawyer is allowed to practice in the courts, and no woman can gain admission to the bar—hence, jury, judge, counsel, must all be of the superior class.

Judge Hunt—The Court must insist—the prisoner has been tried according to the established forms of law.

Miss Anthony—Yes, your honor, but by forms of law all made by men, interpreted by men, administered by men, in favor of men, and against women; and hence, your honor’s ordered verdict of guilty, against a United States citizen for the exercise of “that citizen’s right to vote,” simply because that citizen was a woman and not a man. But, yesterday, the same man-made forms of law, declared it a crime punishable with $1,000 fi ne and six months’ imprisonment, for you, or me, or any of us, to give a cup of cold water, a crust of bread, or a night’s shelter to a panting fugitive as he was tracking his way to Canada. And every man or woman in whose veins coursed a drop of human sympathy violated that wicked law, reckless of consequences, and was justified in so doing. As then, the slaves who got their freedom must take it over, or under, or through the unjust forms of law, precisely so, now, must women, to get their right to a voice in this government, take it; and I have taken mine, and mean to take it at every possible opportunity.

Judge Hunt—The Court orders the prisoner to sit down. It will not allow another word.

Miss Anthony—When I was brought before your honor for trial, I hoped for a broad and liberal interpretation of the Constitution and its recent amendments, that should declare all United States citizens under its protecting aegis—that should declare equality of rights the national guarantee to all persons born or naturalized in the United States. But failing to get this justice—failing, even, to get a trial by a jury not of my peers—I ask not leniency at your hands—but rather the full rigors of the law.

Judge Hunt—T e Court must insist— (Here the prisoner sat down.) Judge Hunt—The prisoner will stand up. (Here Miss Anthony arose again.) The sentence of the Court is that you pay a fine of one hundred dollars and the costs of the prosecution.

Miss Anthony—May it please your honor, I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. All the stock in trade I possess is a $10,000 debt, incurred by publishing my paper—The Revolution—four years ago, the sole object of which was to educate all women to do precisely as I have done, rebel against your man-made, unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, that tax, fine, imprison and hang women, while they deny them the right of representation in the government; and I shall work on with might and main to pay every dollar of that honest debt, but not a penny shall go to this unjust claim. And I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim, that “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.”

Judge Hunt—Madam, the Court will not order you committed until the fine is paid.

That’s some intense dialogue right there. Suffice it to say that this got quite the publicity.

Susan and Elizabeth continued their quest for Women’s Rights up until their deaths. They held conventions, wrote speeches and articles for the papers. From 1869-1906, Susan appeared before every congress to ask for a women’s suffer amendment.

In 1906 on her 86th birthday she made one last speech in which she said these famous words:

 “There have been others also just as true and devoted to the cause — I wish I could name every one — but with such women consecrating their lives, failure is impossible”

Susan died March 13th, 1906. She is supposed to have said this before she died.

“To think I have had more than 60 years of hard struggle for a little liberty and then to die without it seems so cruel.”

In 1920, 14 years after Susan B. Anthony’s death, women were finally granted the right to vote. Not only that, but even before Susan’s death, legal rights for married women were in place in most states, more and more professions were now being opened for women and at least 36,000 women were attending colleges. She may not have been able to have the liberty, but she gave it to future generations.

Before I close this week’s post there is one more quote that stuck out to me. Clara Barton said this a few days before Susan’s death and I wanted to share it with you:

“A few days ago someone said to me that every woman should stand with bared head before Susan B. Anthony. ‘Yes,’ I answered, ‘and every man as well.’ … For ages he has been trying to carry the burden of life’s responsibilities alone… Just now it is new and strange and men cannot comprehend what it would mean but the change is not far away.

So it might be helpful to not just see it as women weren’t being treated fairly, but that men had to handle life all on their own and now women could help handle burden and they will, next week we talk about being a woman during the World Wars.

Thank you again for joining me this week, I hope to see you next week!

Read More, References, and Citations: Continue reading

The Fairer Sex: The Victorian Era

As of April 17th, 2019 I would encourage you to read this post.

Welcome to week four of our nine week series. We are just about half way through this series. Before we launch into our topic for this week, I want to say that I have learned a lot during this journey. This has provided me the opportunity to study about different cultures and societies. I also hope, Reader, that perhaps this series is changing your life for the better. Now on to our topic.

This week we are discussing the Victorian era of England. The Victorian era took place from the years 1837-1901. Queen Victoria is the reigning monarch on the British throne, it is a time of peace, Pax Britannica (British Peace), prosperity, etiquette and a strong sense of morality.

The role of women has risen since the Medieval era. Women could now go and get jobs so long as it didn’t interfere with their domestic duties, higher education (education at all) was becoming more and more available.

The Victorian era was also a time in which gender roles were being even more sharply defined than at any other point in history. Below is a chart of some of the qualities that were expected of both men and women.

MEN                                          WOMEN



Active Passive
Brave Timid
Worldly Domestic
Logical Illogical
Rational Emotional, susceptible to madness, hysteria
Individual Social/Familial
Independent Dependent
Able to resist temptation Unable to resist temptation
Tainted Pure
Ambitious Content
Sexual/Sensual Not sexual/sensual
Sphere: Public Sphere: Private

At this point in history, more and more workers commuted to their workplace. A shopkeeper, for example, might not necessarily live above his shop anymore and leaves early in the morning to open his store. Or the factory workers would walk from their homes to the factory and back. So whereas women used to help more in the shop it was less so now since it wasn’t directly connected to the home.

For any woman, rich or poor it was expected for a woman to marry and have children. But of course in order to do that one must find a husband. Pre-marital sex in that day in age was scandalous and absolutely unacceptable. However, the woman had be subtle in her search for a husband. A woman was expected to little no sexual feelings, only to have sex so she might be able to bear children and please her husband. If she was obvious with her intent for a husband, then company might think her to have a ravenous sexual appetite. A Victorian doctor named William Acton famously once stated this:

“The majority of women (happily for them) are not very much troubled with sexual feeling of any kind…As a general rule, a modest woman seldom desires any sexual gratification for herself. She submits to her husband’s embraces, but principally to gratify him; and, were it not for the desire of maternity, would far rather be relieved from his attentions.”

Further on the subject, sex was a obscure mysterious subject. The term “unmentionables” as another name for undergarments comes from this era, arms and legs were called limbs, there is even a myth that Victorians would cover furniture legs because they were supposedly suggestive. Most women didn’t even learn about sex until their wedding night (talk about an awkward time to get a sex ed lesson.)

In this time women were becoming literate and educated. However women were not taught sciences and high level math. Here is a quote from Pride and Prejudice which gives us an idea of what a middle class and higher class woman was taught:

A woman must have thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing and the modern languages…and beside all this she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expression. – Ch. 8

In the 1840’s two college’s were opened. The first was Queen’s College which was founded by men who were sympathetic to the need of better educating women and second was the Ladies College which would later be known as Bedford College, this college was founded and run by women. However women who were devoted to intellectual pursuits were given the unkind name of Blue-stocking. Doctors actually claimed that if a woman studied too much it would damage her ovaries and turn her into a prune, this would make her unmarriable. Crazy huh?

In conclusion, this is a new age for women. Women are being treated less like second-rate citizens and more equally. Women are more literate and educated than at any other point in time at that point and even although there were many professions that shut women out, this was a building block to the next step.

Next week we will talk about a very important woman: Susan B. Anthony the woman who fought to vote.

Read More and Citations

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The Fairer Sex: Medieval Women

As of April 17th, 2019 I would encourage you to read this post.

Hey, I am so sorry that this post is late. Work has been hard this week and I was doing some extra studying for this week’s topic. As for last week I was really busy. So instead of this week’s topic I posted this instead.

This week’s topic is Medieval Women. If you remember from two weeks ago we were talking about women in Antiquity. We explored a couple ancient cultures and saw how women were treated.

Now we are moving up to the Middle Ages. Our story continues after the collapse of the great Roman Empire. Christainity is the main religon of most kingdoms at this time and the world is trying to reorder itself.

Now women’s role change very little- if at all- during the Middle Ages. They were the main caretakers of the home. Poorer women would care for the children, sew, brew beer and spin. Among this, they might help their husbands out in the field, or if he was wealthy enough to own a shop she might help him with the shop. A wealthier woman would overlook the household, checking finances, preparing the menus for the meals and the like.

It was hard for women to earn a living. They were paid less than men. For reaping, a man typically would be paid 8 pence a day. However for a woman, she would get 5 pence. And for hay making, men could earn 6 pence a day while women got 4 pence. Sometimes a woman would have to get several jobs just to make ends meet.

This poem was written by William Langland and it speaks of the tragedy of the Lower-Class Woman in the Early Middle Ages:

“Burdened with children and landlords’ rent;
What they can put aside from what they make spinning they spend on housing,
Also on milk and meal to make porridge with
To sate their children who cry out for food
And they themselves also suffer much hunger,
And woe in wintertime, and waking up nights
To rise on the bedside to rock the cradle,
Also to card and comb wool, to patch and to wash,
To rub flax and reel yarn and to peel rushes
That it is pity to describe or show in rhyme
The woe of these women who live in huts;

In this age women had limited life choices. If you had to simplify it, it was be married to go to a convent. In noble families, children would often be betrothed, even married by the age of 7. However the marriage was not sealed until consummated. Since in poor families it was all hands on deck to make sure the family didn’t starve, a woman might not marry until she was 20. Poorer families couldn’t afford to loose a worker.

In wealthy families (and I’m sure for poorer families as well) it was important that a woman produced a boy so that the family name could be preserved. But pregnancy was a dangerous thing. In the medieval ages there weren’t many doctors, so many children and women died during childbirth. It is speculated that 20% of women died in childbirth.

If a woman didn’t want to risk childbirth or marriage, she might ‘take the veil’ and join a convent. While the rules at a convent could be strict, sometimes they would be taught to read and write, something that not most people knew, much less something that was taught to women. (A quick note aside: we should all be grateful that we can read and write. Just imagine not being able to read these very words. We wouldn’t be able to read books, letters, even our own bibles!) When a woman became a nun she had to take three vows.

The Vow of Poverty: A nun had give up worldly possessions. She couldn’t own anything, everything belonged to the community.

The Vow of Chastity: A nun couldn’t marry or have sexual interactions.

The Vow of Obedience: She must obey her Abbess.

A nun’s life was about living as a bride for the Lord both in prayer, meditation and in works of charity. In fact when a novice became a nun it was celebrated much like a wedding, the nun was even given a wedding ring to wear because she was married to The Lord.

But now what happens when you are a woman in the middle ages and your husband dies? Well if a woman’s husband dies and she has either no sons or underage sons, she could inherit whatever her husband left behind. A widow strangely had many more freedoms then a married woman. According to the book: The Wealth of Wives: Women, Law, and Economy in Late Medieval London it states this:

A widow had a unique status in both borough and common law. She was not under the legal guardianship (Mund) of either her father or her husband. While the moral literature perpetuated the image of widows as poor and devout women, another image of widows was also prevalent in Christian Literature. Widows could be potentially independent, powerful individuals and sexually aggressive. Chaucer portrayed such a widow in “The Wife Of Bath.” A widow could enter into contracts alone, sue for debt, run her business or till her land and marry off her children. She could also choose her own husband the second time around.”

Even though she could choose her husband for the second time, she didn’t have to remarry and if she didn’t remarry she could keep those freedoms. If she did remarry, all the land, money and titles were transferred over to her new husband’s name.

Speaking of widows, there was an important woman born in the Late Middle Ages. Her name was Christine de Pisan (sometimes spelled Pizan) an Italian French woman born in 1364 was an author. Her father Tommaso di Benvenuto da Pizzano (or just Thomas de Pizan) was a astrologer for the French Court. Christine received a magnificent education she not only learned how to read and write, but she learned to speak Latin, (Only extremely intelligent and wealthy people learned to speak Latin) she learned philosophy, and the sciences known in the medieval world.

At fifteen, Christine married Etienne du Castel, a royal secretary, who died in 1389. She had three children two of whom died in childhood and her surviving daughter- Jean du Castel- became a nun.

When Christine’s husband died, Christine looked for a way to support her mother, niece and three children. She turned to writing and became a court author, writing poems and ballads of love for nobles.

Christine’s most famous work is “The Book Of The City Of Ladies” written in response to Jean De Meun’s poem Roman De La Rose (Romance Of The Rose) which criticized women as seducers and that their only purpose is to seduce men and cause them to fall. In this book Christine defends the female gender against the unjust prejudice they receive. If you’d like to read a short biography on Christine de Pizan as well as excerpts from her first book click here. Christine also wrote a sequel called “The Treasure Of The City Of Ladies” in which Christine lays out ways that women can influence her society for the better despite her position.

Christine de Pizan is one of the earliest feminists and Simone de Beauvoir in 1949 wrote:  “[This is] the first time we see a woman take up her pen in defense of her sex”. If you ever have time I strongly suggest reading her books. I personally am still searching for her first book, but I am in the process of reading her second book and it is life changing. But that is for a different post.

In conclusion, life was rough on Medieval Women, things were getting a little better but not too much. Women could now inherit from their fathers and husbands (Supposing they had no brothers or sons). And if they were widowed a woman could have unimaginable influence in the region she lived in. Now we skip ahead 340 years to The Victorian Age. An age of sophistication, strict morality, and peace. Until next time.

References and Citations

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