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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

liberated and glorified the most essentially feminine emotions, but when 

it became an established and organized religion with definitely ascetic 

ideals, its whole emotional tone grew unfavorable to women. It had from 

the first excluded them from any priestly function. It now regarded them 

as the special representatives of the despised element of sex in 

life.[290] The eccentric Tertullian had once declared that woman was 

_janua Diaboli_; nearly seven hundred years later, even the gentle and 

philosophic Anselm wrote: _Femina fax est Satanae_.[291] 

 

Thus among the Franks, with whom the practice of monogamy 

prevailed, a woman was never free; she could not buy or sell or 

inherit without the permission of those to whom she belonged. She 

passed into the possession of her husband by acquisition, and 

when he fixed the wedding day he gave her parents coins of small 

money as _arrha_, and the day after the wedding she received from 

him a present, the _morgengabe_. A widow belonged to her parents 

again (Bedolliere, _Histoire de Moeurs des Francais_, 

vol. i, p. 180). It is true that the Salic law ordained a 

pecuniary fine for touching a woman, even for squeezing her 

finger, but it is clear that the offence thus committed was an 

offence against property, and by no means against the sanctity of 

a woman's personality. The primitive German husband could sell 

his children, and sometimes his wife, even into slavery. In the 

eleventh century cases of wife-selling are still heard of, though 

no longer recognized by law. 

 

 

The traditions of Christianity were more favorable to sexual 

equality than were Teutonic customs, but in becoming amalgamated 

with those customs they added their own special contribution as 

to woman's impurity. This spiritual inferiority of woman was 

significantly shown by the restrictions sometimes placed on women 

in church, and even in the right to enter a church; in some 

places they were compelled to remain in the narthex, even in 

non-monastic churches (see for these rules, Smith and Cheetham, 

_Dictionary of Christian Antiquities_, art. "Sexes, Separation 

of"). 

 

By attempting to desexualize the idea of man and to oversexualize 

the idea of woman, Christianity necessarily degraded the position 

of woman and the conception of womanhood. As Donaldson well 

remarks, in pointing this out (op. cit., p. 182), "I may define 

man as a male human being and woman as a female human being.... 

What the early Christians did was to strike the 'male' out of the 

definition of man, and 'human being' out of the definition of 

woman." Religion generally appears to be a powerfully depressing 

influence on the position of woman notwithstanding the appeal 

which it makes to woman. Westermarck considers, indeed (_Origin 

and Development of the Moral Ideas_, vol. i, p. 669), that 

religion "has probably been the most persistent cause of the 

wife's subjection to her husband's rule." 

 

It is sometimes said that the Christian tendency to place women 

in an inferior spiritual position went so far that a church 

council formally denied that women have souls. This foolish story 

has indeed been repeated in a parrot-like fashion by a number of 

writers. The source of the story is probably to be found in the 

fact, recorded by Gregory of Tours, in his history (lib. viii, 

cap. XX), that at the Council of Macon, in 585, a bishop was in 

doubt as to whether the term "man" included woman, but was 

convinced by the other members of the Council that it did. The 


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