Female Oppression Of The Renaissance Essay

2177 Words9 Pages
Women in Renaissance Italy faced rigid societal standards to which they were supposed to conform. They lived public lives, directed almost exclusively by other people in regards to significant decisions. However, this does not mean that a rise above the oppressive nature of the Renaissance was impossible. Several exceptional women were able to challenge their given positions in a society through their education, practices, seclusion, beauty, and roles. In an examination of several positions, through the Exhortations to Women and to Others If They Please by Lucrezia Marinella and the letters of Laura Cereta, a Renaissance feminist, women can be seen as accepting of their position in society or rebelling against it. Their lives and prescriptive writings show how one can either follow the role given to them or exceed beyond it and become an exceptional woman.
An understanding of the educational background of women is necessary in discovering the female oppression of the Renaissance. Education was more than an issue of gender, especially in consideration of the consequences of wealth as well. Yet their oppression stems from their decision in whether or not they should study the liberal arts. Often was the case that women faced social stigmas and societal pressures from family members and learned men of the society for turning away from typically female activities. Lucrezia Marinella writes in her Exhortation, “Therefore, she who devotes her mind to learning – a domain that does
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