When researching gender in relation to the Renaissance period, particularly what role a woman might have had, one may find it somewhat difficult to retrieve respectable sources. I agree with Merry Wiesner when s/he points out that most of the creditable sources that are available focus on the male’s role, important women figures such as queens, while others just flat out ignore what a women’s role was in the Renaissance. Finding worthy sources may also pose problems since the majority of sources are in fact written/published by males thus could render a gender bias. Regardless, women contributed, lived, and were affected during this intriguing time period. The author continues to question the ‘common man’ statement, along with the focal thought of the article: Where did women ‘fit in’ the Renaissance, if they even had a place? Wiesner asks such reflective questions like if women felt excluded when terms as ‘common man’ and ‘brotherhood’ dominated the culture. The author points out that it was rare to praise a woman in the context of the public as they were more commonly criticized.
Wiesner makes an interesting comment in stating that we must re-examine all categories in regards to the Renaissance and Reformation. Examples include the categories previously reserved for men alongside those generally reserved exclusively for women like marital status/childbearing, then relating said topics to men. But when reading this article, I found that Wiesner’s perspective seemed somewhat unfocused. S/he jumps around talking about many centuries ago up to, in the next couple paragraphs, fifteen years ago.
Although, I do began to wonder if Wiesner has any ideas of her/his own. A great portion of each her pages is filled with citations and/or references. It leads me to think that the author was simply a talented reader.
Wiesner believes it is necessary to ‘rethink’ our idea of gender and to not to rely strictly on the resources currently available. In the...