Gender Issues Of The Fifteenth Century &Amp; Utopia

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The inferiority of women in the fifteenth century is a commonly accepted fact. This inferiority is evident by the literature of this time. Authors such as Machiavelli make obvious the philosophy that men were the dominant sex in the way he lays out his ideas. On the other hand, Thomas More in his book Utopia, makes an exception by viewing women differently. Utopia is a book describing how leaders should go about making their country a perfect one. In contrast to other writers, More believed that a perfect country should incorporate equal opportunities for both sexes. He also believed that to be successful, all members of the society need to be productive, the men as well as the women. More's Utopia makes up a world where women are given more privileges and authority, and are respected more than in any existence at that time. Nevertheless, it seems that he could not escape the dominant philosophy of his own society that women were the weaker sex. The question is why? Why did More believe that giving more rights and power to women would contribute to the creation of a perfect society? Also, why, yet giving women more rights and power than they usually would be given, he still maintained the patriarchal values of the sixteenth century? Even in the perfect Utopian world of Thomas More, the social status of women, the role they played in society and the general way they were treated, were influenced by the dominant view of the society at that time and by his own personal values. The social status given to women in More’s Utopia was unconventional but yet still traditional in some ways. In opposition to what was usually permitted for women, in Utopia, they were allowed to get an education. “Every child receives a primary education, and most men and women go on educating themselves all their lives during those free periods that I told you about” . Typically in that time,

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