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Women During the Middle Ages (Life)

Women were widely considered inferior during the Middle Ages. Even though some women possessed considerable - and often extraordinary - power, most of them were very poor and had to work 12 hours every day just to get by. Behind every great king and ruler, was a woman. The influence of women during the Middle Ages is often underestimated.

Most women of the Middle Ages were totally dominated by men. Any man in the family could order a woman to do as he wished. If a woman refused, she was beat into submission, as disobedience was considered a crime against God.

Many important women existed. Here is a brief list:

Joan of Arc
Anna Comnena
Hildegard of Bingen
Julian of Norwich
Christine de Pizan
Jane Shore
Alice Perrers
Matilda of Flanders
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Queen Berengaria of Navarre
Isabella of France
Philippa of Hainault
Mary de Bohun
Catherine of Valois
Margaret of Anjou

While it is often believed that women possessed no rights during the Middle Ages, that was generally not the case. They had to obey men, but they were often treated well. Women of the royalty lived luxuriously and when chivalry was finally introduced, they were more respected by men. We could say that women were treated based on their social rank, but this would also show some inconsistencies. Some peasants who lived in peaceful times could only work as much as we do today and still live well.

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