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Duffy about Women's Suffering in Medieval and Modern Periods - Literature review Example

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The paper "Duffy about Women’s Suffering in Medieval and Modern Periods" notes a lot of women have become social, religious, and political leaders recently. But ladies still do suffer as in the past. Gender issues, sexuality, religion, and a male-dominated society still stands in the way of constructive changes in the sufferings of women…
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Duffy about Womens Suffering in Medieval and Modern Periods
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Download file to see previous pages Gender power relations, misconceived notions regarding female sexuality and religious interpretations of the female body in both the medieval and modern periods have immensely added to the misery and sufferings of females. This paper seeks to explore how female identity and female body were represented during the medieval and modern periods with specific focus on women’s sufferings. Two of the following texts namely Ancrene Wisse (medieval) and The World's Wife (modern) by Duffy will be reviewed in some detail for the assignment. It will review the above under three themes namely gender, sexuality and religion. Gender:
It could be said that the anchorites had been subject to gender discrimination based on social practices in the medieval periods. Hugh White (1993) in his translated version of Ancrene Wisse elaborates on the lives of the anchoresses and sets down a set of monastic rules (or manual) for the exterior and interior lives of the anchoresses in the 13th century. The outer rules for the anchoresses exhorted them not to nibble or talk between meals whereas their maids did not have the right to ask for wages, except food and clothing.

The anchoress was supposed to intervene when any strife or dispute occurs between the women and offer them the necessary penance for their follies (195). The maids were supposed to wear plain dresses without any adornments when they go out; similarly, on her way she should not chant her prayers, engage in conversations with either men or women, or sit or stand. The codes of conduct for the maids also involved strict obedience to the mistress; without her consent they were not supposed to accept or give anything. The right behaviour also necessitated that the younger of the maids should neither talk to men nor go out of the village without a reliable companion. There were also clear cut monastic codes to keep the anchoresses away from material life and worldliness. They were not supposed to indulge in worldly talk, laugh or fool around. Some of them like Mary and Christina were forced to dress as men as a protection from sexual advances from men.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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