Women In The Renaissance Era

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Women in the Renaissance era Interest in the role of women in the medieval and Renaissance period received an upswing with the advent of feminism in the 1970s. Up to the mid-20th century historians tended to argue that women in the Renaissance, at least those who were wealthy, enjoyed more power and independence than women from previous generations. In Renaissance Italy, most women from the upper classes had only two options in life: marriage or the cloister. Whether marrying a mortal man or Jesus, they needed a dowry. Since well-born women did not work, the dowry offset the cost of keeping a wife and family. The husband used the money to invest in property or business, but on his death the capital was returned to the woman. Women of the upper classes were not expected, or even allowed, to work outside the home; even breast-feeding was considered a job for a lower class woman, and babies from wealthy families were sent out to wet nurses. Women living in convents as nuns worked by producing gold and silver…show more content…
Many turned to prostitution to make ends meet, or joined convents to work as servants for the nuns. The attitude towards women, their treatment and their rights, underwent many changes during the Renaissance. During feudal times women were given more liberties and enjoyed freedoms. They could own land and had many of the rights men had. However, this period where so many great changes had been made in the church, in literature, and in all other artistic areas, women took a big step backward in their fight for equality. Women were thought of as property, owned first by their fathers, and then their husbands. This is only true, however, for the upper-class. Commoners during this time were not affected by the new social reforms. Lower class women still could own properties and shared many responsibilities with their husbands. They helped on the fields and in business
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