Women 's Self Esteem By Marie D ' Oignies, The Beguine Movement And Its Heretical Groups

Women 's Self Esteem By Marie D ' Oignies, The Beguine Movement And Its Heretical Groups

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Have you ever considered if your body affects your professional life? Nowadays we have laws that attempt to protect people from being discriminated against in the workplace, but this was surely not the case for Medieval mystical women. Their bodies played a significant role in their spiritual lives, and there was pressure from the general patriarchy in addition to the more influential religious community. Being the “other” within the Catholic church, mystics needed to function within the patriarchy’s guidelines in order to succeed. This translates into women’s self-esteem, body images as well as feelings about the products of their bodies. In the case of Marie d’Oignies, the Beguine Movement and its heretical groups and flexible commitment set the scene for Marie to be a budding mystic. Despite her marriage-which was still legitimate-and her lack of virginal purity, Marie became a mystical woman. However, she went about this by her own terms, which heavily relied on her body as a mode of communication in more than one way, which sets her apart from the traditional mystical woman. Throughout Jacques de Vitry’s work The Life of Marie d’Oignies, Marie displays traditional gender roles, virginity, sexage, and superficial reduction to her physical appearance exemplifying her innate body image concerns. Therefore, she writes her position as an oppressed woman and articulates her religious convictions through her body.
Due to her gift of tears as well as traditional gender roles, Marie is consistently marginalized. Marie’s primary mode of expression is through her gift of tears, what the patriarchy would view as a typical female emotional reaction. The profuse crying began while “considering [Christ’s] torment upon the Cross, she found ...


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...ion. Although it clearly occurs due to her religious conviction. Within her work "Why Bodies Matter: A Sociological Reflection on Spirituality and Materiality." Meredith McGuire recognizes “how central our material bodies are in the very practice and experience of religion” and that spirituality and physiological aspects of religious lives are interconnected (2). This connection was especially true in Medieval religious practices due to their involvement with “bodily performance and dramatic enactment” (McGuire 8). Marie’s religious practices are arguably entirely based on physical actions and reactions. Thus, her need to bury the removed piece of her body it absolutely valid, it is a part of her spiritual life. The fact that she took action in this situation, redeeming the sexage and controlling ownership of this piece of herself displays her religious consistency.

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