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Christen de Pizen Lecture 1

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Rebecca Kingston

Christine de Pizan (1364-c.1429) Introduction: the enduring problem of perception -exciting moment in intellectual history where groups of marginalized individuals come to develop sense of empowermentequality, not just about woman ut argument for equality that coiuld e generalized appropriated and learned from. -on surface clear that gains of woman enormous. *how work and contributions of woman continue to be perceived judged and continued..problem of perception! most obvious to look to media. eg. belinda stronach focus on her relationship with peter mckay not her accomplishments.. female politicians have harsher judgement -looking at book in relation to how classical sources inform the work influential medieval sources in her work -similar to plato in creating city through dialogue as well as narrative, pizan doing something different in intent from plato. despite fact that both communities have timelessness to them(form of jjustice held to be eternal model) for pizan not meant to be universal form= it is gender specific, nor meant to suggest utopian idealreal model for political community. nor is it metaphor for thinking of ones ultimate destiny. womens desire for citizenship meant to make difference in conduct and her life. -interesting thing: question of arguing for womens equality without real strong theoretical tradition in which equality has been theorized. women in medieval france facing and living in hierarchical structures. highly oppressive- argue in interesting way how woman can create empowered interesting sense of self. some may look to lockerosseau to human equality commitments but pizan grounds intuition in actual principle. her sense of equality based on perception of womans contribution and what they have done. -3rd consideration of her legacy what does it contribute? -defense of women based on basic principle of augustine(that nature is good) I. Confronting late medieval misogyny(the hatred of women by men) (Pizans reference to Matheolus) mateolus who wrote book of leviticus. character christine takes up book, more she reads the more despondent she gets. she realizes that mateolus not unique in way he characterizes women as viciouscorruptinferior, so she realizes he is representation of vast amount of literature and commentary that is offensive to her and that she is sad about, it enforces and seeks into her own sense of identity. she evokes emotion of shame. these writers given her sense of inferiority (ashamed of being a woman as she has internalized criticism)illusion to transvestite. aristotle- passionsemotions get in way of women and make them intellectually inferior augustine biological nature of women acts as form of original sin that corrupts them and others. courtly love tradition- women as extension of evemaster of manipulation treachery a) Aristotle and his legacy-women as intellectual inferiors- via N. Oresme passionsemotions get in way of women and make them intellectually inferior
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