The Renaissance Battle of the Sexes Online!
Life as a Female
As a female during the renaissance, life was not easy, and it certainly was not fair. The woman led a hard life of cooking, cleaning, buying food, raising the children, and maintaining the family. For all women, the duties in the kitchen and house were very extensive, whether a woman was working herself or supervising the work of one or more maids. Even ladies of noble or princely rank took charge of the preparation of food themselves.
Peasant women were skinny and malnourished which was a direct result of the work they did. The royal women were large and heavy set, which showed how lazy they were and how they did not have to do any work. A larger woman attracted more men because the weight symbolized wealth.
Noble women enjoyed the easy life filled with the finest foods, wines and clothing from all around the world. They prided themselves on their elegance and spent hours getting dressed everyday. Baths were taken anywhere from once a week to twice a year. Noble women enjoyed dancing and lounging. The women received respect due to the positions that their husbands held. Noble women were proper in every move, and were required to possess the best of manners and utmost respect toward other men. In some noble families, women could enjoy some of the entertainment that their husbands could, such as hawking, and in some cases, hunting.
In peasant villages, women did the same amount of field work that men did. They would often work outdoors from sunrise to sunset, with only a few short breaks. The major amount of commissioned work done by women aimed at the attempt to build a large dowry, consisting of mainly cleaning houses for the noble women. One of the important activities of the female members of the family of all ranks was the spinning of wool and flax. This feminine handicraft was looked upon as an honorable occupation for the women of higher classes, too. They liked to be portrayed while engaged in spinning.
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Note: This page has been created as a result of research done by students at Plymouth-Salem High School as part of a Humanities class. All data presented, unless otherwise noted, derives from these research materials. Any inaccuracy of information is accidental. Thank you for visiting our site!