Women’s Issues Before and Now

In the past, women were subjected to great injustice and violence. Even high-ranking church officials often spoke of women with arrogance.
Girls as young as 12 were forced to marry for dynastic or economic reasons. Often such girls had to marry men of their grandfather\’s age rather than their father\’s. Even aristocratic women, whose lives were more comfortable than those of poorer women, were forced to have children each year, most of whom died in infancy. Nor were even noble women exempt from brutal treatment by their husbands, who certainly did not treat them with respect. [For example, it is recorded that when William the Conqueror asked the Duchess Mathilde of Flanders to marry him, she rejected him. In other words, his father was a noble Norman duke, but his mother was a commoner. William took no offense at Mathilde\’s insult and hit her. Her father took it as an insult, but surprisingly, Mathilde was impressed by her fiancé\’s firmness and decided to agree to the marriage. Nowadays, of course, this story is incomprehensible.
Of course, even in ancient times there were exceptions to the rule for women who succeeded in such an environment. Some did so through charm, others through guile. Some did not hesitate to use force.
Temný středověk
Today is different. Women can make their own decisions about their lives, choose their partners according to their feelings, and choose jobs according to their interests and priorities. Of course, violence against women still occurs today, but it is condemned and the perpetrators are taken for granted to be treated with impunity. Few people can conceive of such a commonplace as a convenience to be protected.