The Importance of Peasant Women in Medieval Society

Length: 4 Pages 924 Words

The Importance of Peasant Women in Medieval Society During the Medieval period, peasant women played many important roles. They performed a multitude of tasks every day and faced daunting challenges and pressures throughout their lives as they struggled to gain a place in their society. The roles of these women can easily be seen in a closer look at their entire lives, both in and out of the home. To begin, medieval peasant women executed many important duties in their households. For example, almost all chores were completed by the women. On any given day, female peasants might have sheared their sheep, spun the wool into string, woven the string into a peace of cloth, and sewed that piece of cloth into a new garment for herself or one of her family members. Still, their list of responsibilities continues. They had to do the wash, cook and clean, care for both the children and animals, tend to the garden, keep a fire, and occasionally hunt for food. Yet the women were not recognized for their efforts. They were considered to be inferior to their husbands and often appeared to be servants to them. A slight honor of managing the house or estate was only bestowed upon the women when their husbands would leave for lon Continue...

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"Each village had an alehouse, run by an alewife who was often in trouble for brewing ale of inferior quality or selling it above the legal price. However, the peasant widows had the freedom and ability to work and gain back some or even all of the valuables that they had lost. They also needed to work in order to support their now fatherless children who needed food, clothing, and shelter, as well as dowries for the girls. The final aspect of the women's home life was in their care for and upbringing of children. comhomeskernanwillkernanessayswomen. The women completed tasks including thatching, or creating straw panels to be used in construction, planting and reaping, cutting and drying grasses to make hay, washing clothes, and doing many other odd jobs. Even more jobs held by women included blacksmiths, merchants, apothecaries, midwives, field hands, and entertainers. Overall, the medieval peasant women's roles in society were large and valuable ones. Finally, women's outside roles can be seen in their rebellious nature. Although most widows never lost their land or status, they frequently faced poverty. Furthermore, female peasant rebellion is noticeable in circumstances that frequently occurred in alehouses. The mothers' role was to teach her children how to perform tasks and punish them for wrongdoings.


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