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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

dogmatic in form, invented or imposed by theological authority or 

philosophical speculation. They do not grow out of the experience 

of life, and cannot be verified by it. The reasons are in 

ultimate physiological facts, by virtue of which one is a woman 

and the other is a man." There is, however, more to be said on 

this point later. 

 

It was probably, however, not so much the Church as Teutonic customs and 

the development of the feudal system, with the masculine and military 

ideals it fostered, that was chiefly decisive in fixing the inferior 

position of women in the mediaeval world. Even the ideas of chivalry, which 

have often been supposed to be peculiarly favorable to women, so far as 

they affected women seem to have been of little practical significance. 

 

In his great work on chivalry Gautier brings forward much 

evidence to show that the feudal spirit, like the military spirit 

always and everywhere, on the whole involved at bottom a disdain 

for women, even though it occasionally idealized them. "Go into 

your painted and gilded rooms," we read in _Renaus de Montauban_, 

"sit in the shade, make yourselves comfortable, drink, eat, work 

tapestry, dye silk, but remember that you must not occupy 

yourselves with our affairs. Our business is to strike with the 

steel sword. Silence!" And if the woman insists she is struck on 

the face till the blood comes. The husband had a legal right to 

beat his wife, not only for adultery, but even for contradicting 

him. Women were not, however, entirely without power, and in a 

thirteenth century collection of _Coutumes_, it is set down that 

a husband must only beat his wife reasonably, _resnablement_. (As 

regards the husband's right to chastise his wife, see also 

Hobhouse, _Morals in Evolution_, vol. i, p. 234. In England it 

was not until the reign of Charles II, from which so many modern 

movements date, that the husband was deprived of this legal 

right.) 

 

 

In the eyes of a feudal knight, it may be added, the beauty of a 

horse competed, often successfully, with the beauty of a woman. 

In _Girbers de Metz_, two knights, Garin and his cousin Girbert, 

ride by a window at which sits a beautiful girl with the face of 

a rose and the white flesh of a lily. "Look, cousin Girbert, 

look! By Saint Mary, a beautiful woman!" "Ah," Girbert replies, 

"a beautiful beast is my horse!" "I have never seen anything so 

charming as that young girl with her fresh color and her dark 

eyes," says Garin. "I know no steed to compare with mine," 

retorts Girbert. When the men were thus absorbed in the things 

that pertain to war, it is not surprising that amorous advances 

were left to young girls to make. "In all the _chansons de 

geste_," Gautier remarks, "it is the young girls who make the 

advances, often with effrontery," though, he adds, wives are 

represented as more virtuous (L. Gautier, _La Chevalerie_, pp. 

236-8, 348-50). 

 

In England Pollock and Maitland (_History of English Law_, vol. 

ii, p. 437) do not believe that a life-long tutela of women ever 

existed as among other Teutonic peoples. "From the Conquest 

onwards," Hobhouse states (op. cit., vol. i, p. 224), "the 

unmarried English woman, on attaining her majority, becomes 

fully equipped with all legal and civil rights, as much a legal 

personality as the Babylonian woman had been three thousand years 

before." But the developed English law more than made up for any 

privileges thus accorded to the unmarried by the inconsistent 


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