A breach in this confidence, a morphological divergence, an appearance equivocal as to its species is enough for us to be gripped by radical fear. Very well for fear, one might say. But radical fear? Because we are living beings, real effects of the laws of life, and ourselves possible sources of life in out turn. A failure of life is of double concern to us, for such a failure could touch us or could come from us. It is only because we humans are living beings that a morphological failure is, to our living eyes, a monster. (Canguilhem, 134)
In this sense, in the Renaissance, the population was scared of the unexpected and they praised predictability and immobility in general. They did not want people to have fluidity between genders. They were afraid of the outcome of such mobility within society and this fear caused them to reject this idea, seeing anything out of the norm as monstrous, or unnatural. In his essay, “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstruous Regiment of Women,” John Knox says:
To promote a woman to beare rule, superioritie, dominion or empire above any realme, nation, or citie, is repugnant to nature, contumelie to God, a thing most contrarious to his reveled will and approved ordinance, and finale it is the subversion of good order, of all equitie and justice. (Knox, 11)
Here, Knox is talking about the Queen of England, who he did not believe should rule, as she was a woman. Her reign was seen as ungodly because of her gender, supporting the idea that the Renaissance didn’t accept fluidity between genders. Supposedly, a woman who was cold and wet did not have the right behaviors to govern. If England had a f...
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...acious carriage as giveth evidence to the husband that his wife respecteth his place, and the authority which God hath given him. Sobriety in general is required of all women by reason of their sex, and surely it doth well become them all: but much more doth it become wives, most of all in their husband’s presence... Contrary to this sobriety is lightness and wantonness: which vices in a wife, especially before her husband, argueth little respect, if not a plain contempt of him... (Gouge, 90)
Thus, Gouge holds on to this idea to construct specific characteristics of women’s submissiveness such as: the women have to manage the house according to their husbands’ needs and desires, women should not talk back to their husbands, and women should obey their husbands in every aspect of their lives. Therefore, male authority over female behavior was also based on religion.
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