«Natural Law & Sexual Ethics» @ Princeton, by Prof. Ed Feser
#25
(04-24-2015, 06:20 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: Of course its a myth that women in the Middle Ages were confined to private life in the household. Contrary to popular belief they could even study, in fact, as in opposition to the East, in the West education was something for priests and women, not for "real men", and also contrary to the broader Eastern society (that is, including the Moslems), women did enjoy more freedom.
And of course, this is only culturally, but look at the BVM and the women saints and see if you can imagine them as just being well behaved because they are in a post-coitus bliss or are pregnant.
Even where the Bible comes closer to this view, say, in picturing the seducing whore, its quite clear that this is one sort of woman. Its not in the essence of women to be a hysterical, seducing whore. Not to mention that in every depiction of the whore the fool is always implicit: a person is a fool before he is seduced. So, this claim that men are more rational and thus are not given to the passions besides being patently false its not biblical.

Well, as far as I know, you are right to say that women were not strictly confined to private life in the Middle Ages and generally enjoyed a greater degree of freedom than did women in ancient Athens, but still, it does seem that many medieval people thought that men were generally more rational and women more sensual, though perhaps they did not go so far as to say that women were essentially hysterical, seducing whores. For instance, a few quotations from St. Thomas:

Quote: Woman is subject to man on account of the frailty of nature, as regards both vigor of soul and strength of body.

Quote:There is another kind of subjection which is called economic or civil, whereby the superior makes use of his subjects for their own benefit and good; and this kind of subjection existed even before sin. For good order would have been wanting in the human family if some were not governed by others wiser than themselves. So by such a kind of subjection woman is naturally subject to man, because in man the discretion of reason predominates.

Quote:sensibility is compared to the female, but reason to the man, by whom sensibility ought to be ruled. Hence he is called her head.

Quote:Furthermore, in regard to what is within, man is more especially called the image of God, inasmuch as reason is more vigorous in him.

Now, to be clear, I am not saying that I agree with this view of women, and I think it is obviously limited in certain ways. At the same time, I think the Victorian idea of woman as an "angel in the house" who is naturally spiritual and uninterested in sex is also flawed. 
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Re: «Natural Law & Sexual Ethics» @ Princeton, by Prof. Ed Feser - by Crusading Philologist - 04-24-2015, 07:43 PM



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