Women’s Education from the Rensaissance to the 18th Century
Essay title: Women’s Education from the Rensaissance to the 18th Century
Womens education and potential for learning evolved from the Renaissance to the early 18th century. During the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the 17th and early 18th centuries, womens education slowly increased from period to period.
The Renaissance was a period in time where women were taught to how to govern a household, encouraged to abstain from sexual relations, and how to conduct herself in the social class into which her marriage would place her. Women were not supposed to attend formal schooling, except for daughters of nobility. In Erasmuss book “The Abbot and the Learned Lady”, the lady in the story questions whether a “wifes business to manage the household and rear the children” is the correct understanding of womens role in society. The abbot agrees with her statement, which shows the mentality of what many believed in the Renaissance time period. Eventually, women were permitted to attend grammar school. Soon after that, private schools were established for women, but only those who could afford it were able to attend.
Moving into the Reformation, a closure in convents caused women to be deprived of a major occupation in which they had devoted their life to. These convents provided a unique opportunity for womens education but men viewed the closure as a way to save women from sexual repression. Outside of these convents, women were not allowed to speak in Church. Women attended due to it being an obligation and had to keep their opinions to themselves. Emond Auger, a French Jesuit, explained that “To learn essential doctrine, there is no need for the woman or artisan to take time out from their work and read the Old and New Testament. Then theyll want to dispute about it and give their opinion.” This shows why women should be entitled to their own voice and opinion in which they are being exposed to material that they may not agree with. Martin Luther called for the education of women but to a certain extent. He expressed that women were made to stay at home and bear and raise children, for they were built in such a way; yet, he believed that women had the right to attain some intelligence.
The 17th and 18th centuries suffered a severe setback for women in education. Powerful men opposed the idea of womens education beyond reading and writing their names. Madame de Maintenon expressed to two women that she taught at her school in