Gender In The Middle Ages
Gender In The Middle Ages
During the medieval periods, gender is a great measure defining the state of a certain person in a certain society. According to the Qur’an, the male gendered people are always considered as superior than that of the female figures because the scripture explains that it is as God created man first before creating a woman and that the man is the protector and provider of the woman. In the medieval period society, those people who acquire power are said to be all male gendered ones.
A woman is never allowed to hold power because they are said to be subjected in doing household chores because they are believed to be inferior being than that of man. Females are believed to be basically serving their husbands as well as their children and also their parents. This kind of belief bloomed because it is written in the Holy Scriptures that God created man on his image and because God is believed to be a powerful immortal creator then therefore the man whom he created holds the power over everything that God created.
The only position that a woman can hold in the society during the medieval time is; someone who will follow their husband as they are subjected to follow the man’s rule because the man are considered the authority. Woman are also not allowed to learn as they are not allowed to teach, they also can not be allowed as a witness, and nor are they allowed to give their judgement as well as their opinion over a certain matter. Women are never given the chance to excel beyond what they are, neither are they given the opportunity to speak out their thoughts.
They are considered as servants who are chosen by the immortal creator to serve the man created as the holder of the power and authority above every creation. The society’s expectation of role towards the people came basically from the sacred scriptures. In Christian scripture, it is stated in the bible that Adam was made first in order to rule, protect and be the authority over God’s creation; in the Qur’an scripture from the Islamic religion, it has also been stated that man is made first in order to rule those who are made inferior to them.
The medieval scenario on gender shows that the medieval period basically adopted the sacred scripture’s statement and implemented it as a basis on how they are going to treat such people depicted by their gender. This explains that the church has a great influence towards the people on the medieval periods; it generally makes people obey and base their social life under the words of the immortal creator. The people’s concern during the medieval period which is related to gender is that they give man all the respect due to the man’s gender.
The respect that the society bestows towards the male figures is considered as a symbol of their love and respect to which they believe and they have faith into. Since the people believed that God is powerful and that God created man from his own image, therefore man as the society considers, is as precious and as respectful as God is who deserves authority, power, love, respect, and obedience as much as loyalty. On the contrary, there is an act in which the boundaries of gender can be altered.
An example is the Chambermaid who is a servant employed by a certain master in order to do all the heavy and most filthy duties in a household. This kind of servant can be almost considered as an outcast or untouchable and therefore man are not allowed to get closer to her and worst is that man are also not allowed to marry them. The people during the medieval period are basically not allowed to rise into a higher status in the society.
Since the medieval people have their idea in mind that women are not created through God’s image and likeness, they are then subjected to forever being servant of their master or of their husband. This includes their exception from learning as well as their exception from their right to teach what they know, the are also not allowed to become a witness in any matter or crime, they are even prevented from giving such guarantee, and thus they are also not allowed to witness such judgement nor give their own opinion regarding the judgement matters.
The ideas and beliefs that the medieval people used to believe are cruel and unfair. It imposes that women are useless and all that women can be is a simple servant who tends to follow all that the man has to say or has to command. In addition, women are being treated like animals lacking of respect and losing their dignity as a human being who are too created by the almighty. Through the period that the female beings were disrespected, they’ve experienced torments, public humiliation; they are also unaccepted by the society to join any position or to excel at any other state rather than that of being a slave.
If the medieval people really believed in God and thus respect and love him as they loved the male races, then therefore the woman also deserves such respect because they too are beings created by God and that what God said that “man should be the authority over woman” was taken exaggeratedly to the extend that the male race treated the women as “nothing” where what God meant by his word is that man should be the authority over woman in order to protect the female race from the temptations and tests of life which females are weak of. Class status added a conflict to the situation when women were disregarded and taken advantage of.
Those who are rich or considered as powerful aristocrats during the medieval period tend to purchase women to e either their sex object or slaves. Those who are being purchased for slaves were being commanded to do ridiculous chores and those who were purchased to be sex objects were considered as source for past time pleasure. The women purchased to make love with by the socially stabled man will not be free even if somebody purchased them unless their present master will decide to let go of them. The example wherein people could see that women where given the opportunity to be treated fairly is in The Rule of St.
Francis of Assisi wherein he said that man which he considers as his brothers should not dare to judge other people but rather they should be gentle or kind. In addition to the rules, it was stated that man should not have any verbal nor non-verbal connection with the women unless they were being allowed by the pope. The rules of St. Francis of Assisi show how people must treat women in a way that the women were being given proper respect. The nuns’ gender as a female deserves respect for they are holy as God had created them and as they were ready to serve God. In the middle or medieval period, gender treatments were not uniform.
There were places where female were considered slaves and that they were being sold and purchased just like materials things and men act like God who holds power over women. On the other hand, in other places, men were treated like slaves as women were and they too experiences sufferings and torments and women where somehow treated fairly. Gender issues during the medieval or middle age is a historical fact that marked the perception of people towards the importance of the humanity’s difference and how they should be treated which made the people of this period time realize that women can be as useful, and as effective as men in any matter.
It is not because man are made with God’s image that women should be taken advantage of but it is that because they are God’s like created figures, they should then treat the creations as a precious thing which is under their care.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Sherman, Dennis. Western Civilization Sources, Images, and Interpretations. 7th ed. Vol. 1: McGraw Hill, Year.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 December 2016
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