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Gender Relations

Course Code
Nicholas Terpstra

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HIS244 Gender RelationsTuesday January 25th 2011
Lecture Outline
The family, gender relations, and state structure
Patriarchy and the law
negotiating patriarchy
Descriptive vs. prescriptive literature
Lives of girls and women
Clothes make the man and the woman
Key Terms
Common law
Civil law
feme covert
feme sole
In the wake of the Black Death, there were hopes that women would have more
rights, a parallel with the decline of serfdom (declining labour source because of the
plague, thus rights of the serfs improve)
Patriarchy: economic, ideological domination of man over woman
Descriptive vs. prescriptive literature: books written on HOW women/men should
behave (prescriptive), not necessarily how things WERE (descriptive)
Men tended to not live as long and widowhood/remarriage was a common occurrence
The number of women who never marry is increasing
Many historians think that widowhood was the best stage of a womans life (no man
in charge of her, her own household, etc.)
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