Aztec Women's Roles

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The role of women in society is a topic that has been debated for centuries. Even today, we struggle with what rights women should be granted and what place in society they have. In recent years, there have been many movements to equalize pay and work for women and men. To contrast the roles of women in older societies can give us a view into why our society is formed today. In the Americas, women were still largely considered as subordinates to men. For example, in Aztec society they were expected to “accept reprimands calmly” and they were still not considered to be the head of the house. Men, on the other hand, were considered to be rulers and the source of lineage. Despite these factors, women also had working positions, unlike in other…show more content…
During the Middle Ages, Christianity was the dominant religion in Western Europe. The church had a profound effect on society, government, and the economy. With this faith, there was a belief that all souls should be equal. This fundamental idea shaped women’s roles, opening up alternatives to the traditional marriage. Women could now be nuns, devoting their life to the church. You can contrast these ideals to those of Islam, in which women had arguably less freedom than Christianity. The flip-side of this is that women could not own land, unlike Muslim women. This freedom of new pathways was fairly new for women, creating a different means of living their lives, giving them options they had never had before. In addition to this, the new systems of trading created guilds, in which women could participate, arranging and managing craft guilds. Despite this new-found freedom, urbanization ensued, solidifying structures of patriarchy that would have lasting effects on Western society, some of which we still see…show more content…
Physically, women were less able to complete tasks and work in jobs that required much of any mobility. The practice of footbinding was rampant in China at this time and has persisted for ages, even appearing in China recently. In this tradition, mothers broke and bound their daughter’s feet at a young age. This was said to be inspired a Tang emperor’s enjoyment of one of his dancer’s feet. Bound feet were very small and required a strongly-heeled shoe to support the wearer. This feature was valued in women and almost considered necessary for the success of an arranged marriage. As a result of this foot binding, women were very restricted in both the physical roles in their families and, abstractly, their role in society. Due to lack of mobility, many women were restricted to the confines of their house, forcing them to work with either textiles, housework, or both. If women were poor, they usually could not afford to be immobile, they needed their feet to work in the fields and to do work that helped their family survive. In the upper classes, bound feet, as I’ve alluded to above, were almost necessary for a marriage. Unlike in Western Europe and the Americas, marriage was usually the only path for Chinese women, so there was extreme pressure on presenting yourself well for possible suitors. Ultimately, this patriarchal system persisted for centuries, with parts of the

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