The pre-feminist West, where women weren’t human
Before circa 1970, the liberal/feminist mythology goes, women were the slaves, servants, and doormats of men. And even in the neoconservative Commentary, Kay Hymowitz writes:
Before the 18th century and outside of Western Europe, marriage was a social and economic as well as sexual arrangement; it had little to do with love and companionship, and no one much cared about whether women were fulfilled or not.To which Laura Wood replies:
Is that so? Where would Shakespeare have come from—how would we have Juliet, Miranda, Katherina, Bianca, Desdemona, Portia, Ophelia, Gertrude, to name a few—if there had been no concept of love in marriage for women well before the 18th century?Laura then presents some Dutch paintings from the 17th century which suggests a rather different picture from that imagined by liberals and neocons.
James P. writes:
You wrote,Colin B. writes:
Regardless of their formal legal position in marriage before the advent of feminism in the West circa 1970, the reality was very different. Charles Dickens summed up the truth very nicely in “Oliver Twist,” where Mr Bumble, when informed that “the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction,” replies, “If the law supposes that … the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 22, 2011 09:22 AM | Send