The Worth of Women

Author: Moderata (Modesta Pozzo) Fonte
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226256832
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Gender equality and the responsibility of husbands and fathers: issues that loom large today had currency in Renaissance Venice as well, as evidenced by the publication in 1600 of The Worth of Women by Moderata Fonte. Moderata Fonte was the pseudonym of Modesta Pozzo (1555–92), a Venetian woman who was something of an anomaly. Neither cloistered in a convent nor as liberated from prevailing codes of decorum as a courtesan might be, Pozzo was a respectable, married mother who produced literature in genres that were commonly considered "masculine"—the chivalric romance and the literary dialogue. This work takes the form of the latter, with Fonte creating a conversation among seven Venetian noblewomen. The dialogue explores nearly every aspect of women's experience in both theoretical and practical terms. These women, who differ in age and experience, take as their broad theme men's curious hostility toward women and possible cures for it. Through this witty and ambitious work, Fonte seeks to elevate women's status to that of men, arguing that women have the same innate abilities as men and, when similarly educated, prove their equals. Through this dialogue, Fonte provides a picture of the private and public lives of Renaissance women, ruminating on their roles in the home, in society, and in the arts. A fine example of Renaissance vernacular literature, this book is also a testament to the enduring issues that women face, including the attempt to reconcile femininity with ambition.

Debating Women Politics and Power in Early Modern Europe

Author: S. Jansen
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230611230
Format: PDF, Docs
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The sixteenth century was an age of politically powerful women. Queens, acting in their own right, and female regents, acting on behalf of their male relatives, governed much of Western Europe. Yet even as women ruled - and ruled effectively - their right to do so was hotly contested. Men s voices have long dominated this debate, but the recovery of texts by women now allows their voices, long silenced, to be heard once again. Debating Women, Politics, and Power in Early Modern Europe is a study of texts and textual production in the construction of gender, society, and politics in the early modern period. Jansen explores the "gynecocracy" debate and the larger humanist response to the challenge posed by female sovereignty.

The Merits of Women

Author: Moderata Fonte
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022655077X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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You would as well look for blood in a corpse as for the least shred of decency in a man . . . Without help from their wives, men are just like unlit lamps . . . Just think of them as an unreliable clock that tells you it’s ten o’clock when it’s in fact barely two . . . A man without a woman is like a fly without a head . . . These are but a small selection of the quips bandied about at this lively gathering of women. The broad topic at hand is the relative pros and cons of men, and the cases in point range from pick-up artists to locker-room talk, and from double standards to fragile masculinity. Yet this dialogue unfolds not among ironically misandrist millenials venting at their local dive bar, but rather among sixteenth-century women—variously married, widowed, single, and betrothed—attending a respectable Venice garden party. Written in the early 1590s by Moderata Fonte, pseudonym of the Renaissance poet and writer Modesta Pozzo, this literary dialogue interrogates men and men’s treatment of women, and explores by contrast the virtues of singledom and female friendship. As the women diverge from their theme—discussing everything from astrology to the curative powers of plants and minerals—a remarkable group portrait of wisdom, wit, and erudition emerges. A new introduction by translator Virginia Cox and foreword by Dacia Maraini situate The Merits of Women in its historical context, written as it was on the cusp of Shakespeare’s heyday, and straddling the centuries between the feminist works of Christine de Pizan and Mary Wollstonecraft. Elegantly presented for a general audience, this is a must-read for baby feminists and “nasty women” alike, not to mention the perfect subtle gift for any mansplaining friend who needs a refresher on the merits of women . . . and their superiority to men.

The Ashgate Research Companion to Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe

Author: Jane Couchman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317041054
Format: PDF, Docs
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Over the past three decades scholars have transformed the study of women and gender in early modern Europe. This Ashgate Research Companion presents an authoritative review of the current research on women and gender in early modern Europe from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The authors examine women’s lives, ideologies of gender, and the differences between ideology and reality through the recent research across many disciplines, including history, literary studies, art history, musicology, history of science and medicine, and religious studies. The book is intended as a resource for scholars and students of Europe in the early modern period, for those who are just beginning to explore these issues and this time period, as well as for scholars learning about aspects of the field in which they are not yet an expert. The companion offers not only a comprehensive examination of the current research on women in early modern Europe, but will act as a spark for new research in the field.

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