In countries like Rome where the majority of the countries population is Catholic, and their government is largely influenced by religion. In Rome, the pope is the head of government,and he is also their religious leader. Majority of the country is influenced by their religion and the laws are also shaped by the catholic belief system. Because of that womens rights were severley surpressed not just because of social expectations but because of the law.one example is abortion was strictly forbidden because if the catholic influence. Women during that time were punished by the Catholic Church by having abortions because they believed it to be morally wrong . The Catholic Church puts a great emphasis on what they believe to be morality. Since early B.C, the Romans have adopted a mixed form of government known as the Roman Republic.
Mary Astell is known as “the first English feminist” her views on feminism have made an impact on they way women think today, Mary often wondered why more women didn’t choose to go to college or make a career for themselves. Was it because women believed they were of lower status than men? Why was every women taught the same brainwashed ideals? Mary chose to go against the norm and get women to realize that they were more than wives and mothers, that they can pursue a degree and be the boss at her job. She wished that more people of her own sex made the effort to make education a necessity rather than a luxury that was difficult to come by. With that thought in mind she wrote and published a text called, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, for the Advancement of Their True and Greatest Interest. This work outlined the lives and institutions that women are apart of. Women were taught how to cook, clean, and please their future husbands at very young ages and these things were expected of them. Since the very beginning women have had to sacrifice their wants and desires whether it be for their husbands or children. Mary Astell tried to get women to realize this, so they could begin to understand that they deserved more than fulfilling their “duty” as wife or mother. The quote above asks what men look for when deciding whom to marry. Some chose a wife according to the wealth of her family, or by how beautiful they are, or the woman’s ability to clean and cook. When Mary Astell was a woman old enough to marry she noticed this and wondered why women weren’t able to do the same? If men were allowed to make a checklist of who they were able to marry, why couldn’t we do the same? Women were forced into arranged marriages with no say to who they’d marry and no ability to deny the proposal.
“If a woman were duly principled and taught to know the world, women would marry more discretely” (Greenblatt 2423). From reading this the reader will start to think about the what-ifs of what their lives could’ve been. Should they have rebelled against the norm of expectations and done something that they’d always had desired? Astell said this to question why follow orders when you are your own woman and can do as you please. Women shouldn’t have to relinquish all their wants and desires when men are free to do as they please.
Astell wrote this novel so women could reflect on every aspect of a marriage so they fully know what to expect as a wife. Just as there were cons to every relationship she knew there were also good things about the institute of marriage. She explained that marrying for love was a very special and seldom occurrence and that if a woman was lucky enough to find it that she shouldn’t let it go.
In conclusion, Mary Astell should be considered a major English writer, because her work went above the norm and allowed women to think their thoughts and not feel as if something was wrong with them. Astell gave women the chance to fully experience their life and expand on their knowledge and spirit. She made women realize that they were their own person not someone who had to be ordered around and under-appreciated. So thank you, Mary Astell, for being brave enough to share your thoughts and make a life for yourself, because it gave women the courage to do the same.
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