Reading Connection #2
“Gender, Science and Modernity in seventeenth-century England” by Ruth Watts answers questions that I had never thought of bringing up. In previous history classes, the great minds of the time period were spoken of, but the fact that they were all males was not brought up. After reading this article, it brought me to the realization that women were at a great risk for attempting to join the voices of the seventeenth-century. Women’s voices in this time period were rarely accounted for and criticized. As a woman in today’s society, it made me think about how much I take my voice for granted. If the women that had an interest in voicing their opinion saw how mindlessly we sit I class, they would be enraged. The idea that I could be killed or accused of being a witch for being intelligent or wanting to learn more frightens me. This fear could have also lead women to use a man’s name to get published and to put their ideas out into the world. I wonder if I lived in that time period I would write under a man’s name. It would be frustrating because I would want my ideas, under my name put out into the world. I would not want to give another man credit for my discoveries and my beliefs.
As I searched for more reasons why women were not present, I found that people/men of that century believed that it was unnecessary and harmful for a women to be educated because it may ruin their marriage prospects according to the Norton Anthology of English Literature in the section Contesting Cultural Norms (http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/nael/17century/topic_1/hutchins.htm). It upsets me to think that so many of these women’s lives of this century revolved around a man. It is shocking that in that time period I could not better myself through education because it would ruin my chances of getting a husband.