Feminism pt. 2: Women in Medieval Times pt. 2

“If every man in history had believed that women were inferior and should never be listened to, then these women would not have had the tremendous influence they did.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

Julian of Norwich wrote the earliest surviving book in the English language to be written by a woman. She challenged the notion of a God who wanted to damn mankind and put forth the idea of a God who loved like a mother loves. 

Christine de Pizan was the first female professional writer of the Middle Ages and the first woman of letters in France.  During her own  journey to understand the true role of women, she asked God, “How can everything you create be good except women?” This opened the door to her discovery of womankind’s real worth.

Margery Kempe was a medieval mystic and author of the first autobiography in English. Today it is considered a classic of Medieval Literature. Her devotion and faith compelled her to dramatically change her way of thinking and living, which forced others to look more honestly at themselves. 

Joan of Arc was a medieval peasant who, claiming to receive visions from God, turned the tide of the Hundred Years’ War in favor of a French victory. Her actions were so heroic, courageous and good that she continues to inspire people today.

As you immerse yourself in four more stories of real women who had a lasting impact for good in the lives of thousands of people during the Middle Ages and who still impact lives today, you’ll be inspired to overcome the obstacles in your own life and let your own light shine more brightly!

Listener’s Guide:

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast. 

3:50      Julian of Norwich
Christine de Pizan
8:55     Christine de Pizan’s struggle to understand women’s worth
13:16    Christine de Pizan’s 3 arguments for woman’s equality with men

17:28    Margery Kempe
18:29   Joan of Arc

Quotes from this episode:

One day I was sitting alone in my study surrounded by books on all kinds of subjects, devoting myself to literary studies, my usual habit, my mind dwelt at length on the weighty opinions of various authors whom I had studied for a long time…Thinking deeply about these matters, I began to examine my character and conduct as a natural woman and, similarly, I considered other women whose company I frequently kept…I could not see or realize how [the great men] claims could be true when compared to the natural behavior and character of women…[I concluded that] the man or the woman in whom resides greater virtue is the higher; neither the loftiness nor the sex, but in the perfection of conduct and virtues.” ~Christine de Pizan, from The Book of the City of Ladies, 1405

“…moral education amends and ennobles [women]. How could anyone think or believe that whoever follows good teaching or doctrine is the worse for it? Thus, not all men (and especially the wisest) share the opinion that it is bad for women to be educated. ~Christine de Pizan, from The Book of the City of Ladies, 1405

“Possibly the book may not sell, but that is nothing—it was written for love.” ~Mark Twain about his book Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

“Twain decided to publish the early serialized version of Joan of Arc anonymously so the book could be judged on its merits. His request for anonymity clearly shows the magnitude of his admiration for the character of Joan, and his high regard for her life story. Twain’s meticulous research—a true labor of love—spanned a dozen years, with an additional two years devoted to writing the work.” ~Mark Twain, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

All will be well and every manner of thing will be well in spite of how circumstances might appear.” ~Julian of Norwich

“It’s not as if, in today’s world, we just suddenly woke up and we were the first people smart enough to think that men and women are equal. These kinds of things were discussed all through history.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

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