Myths of Male Dominance: Collected Articles on Women by Eleanor Burke Leacock

By Eleanor Burke Leacock

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Drawing on wide historic and cross-cultural learn, Leacock exhibits that says of male superiority to girls are in accordance with rigorously contructed myths with out foundation in genuine old truth. She additionally files a variety of old examples of egalitarian gender kin.

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She was also the translator of the fourth book of The imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, which was printed in 1504 and was probably the first work to be published by a woman in England (Armstrong 1983; Mayor 1876; Jones & Underwood 1992; Meale 1993). A generation or so later the learning of Henry VIII’s queens, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, is well documented and it has been argued by Maria Dowling that the cultural links that they developed with scholars were of sufficient importance for them to rank as ‘figures of European significance’ in their patronage.

She argued that her scheme would allow women who worked as servants to choose better placements while married women would be of use to their husbands in their trades and better able to raise their children by good example. Widows would be able to understand and manage their own affairs. Makin emphasized that her intention was not to ‘equalize women to men’, for they were the weaker sex, although capable of ‘impressions of great things’. The curriculum that she drew up for her school included dancing, music, singing, writing, keeping accounts, Latin, French, Hebrew and Greek, English grammar, astronomy, geography, arithmetic, history, experimental philosophy, natural history, painting, preserving, pastry-making and cookery.

The biblical precepts quoted in the marriage service and in the Homily were expanded in the advice books and sermons of popular clerical authors such as Thomas Becon, John Dod, Robert Cleaver, Henry Smith, William Whately, William Gouge, Thomas Gataker, Thomas Taylor and Richard Baxter. They all followed the teachings of St Peter and St Paul in stressing the subjection of wives to husbands and this was reinforced by reference to the Fall of Mankind. William Gouge argued in Of domestical duties (1622) that ‘good reason it is that she who first drew man into sin, should now be subject to him, lest by the like womanish weakness she fall again’.

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