Well the Letter saw that idea coming, and what I love so much about it is the fact that is wants married women to consider that “[n]ow you are married, and have descended so low from so high – from the likeness of angels, from the beloved of Jesus Christ, from a lady in heaven, into carnal filth, into the life of an animal, into servitude to a man, and into the world’s misery”. There it is – servitude to a man. Sure, you might enjoy having kids and all that, but ultimately “whatever advantage or happiness comes of it, it is too dearly bought”.
I won’t pretend that I know the actual history they purport to tell, but it’s interesting to consider the proto-feminism embedded within hagiographies like this, just as texts. Woman becomes Christian; woman’s father wants to sell her off; woman takes agency to reject this fate and either does or doesn’t die as a result.
I wonder what the historical balance throughout the centuries was of women being shoved into convents when they didn’t want to go versus women running off to convents when society wanted them to do something else.
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