- Term Papers and Free Essays

Women 17 Century

Essay by   •  December 23, 2010  •  1,170 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,448 Views

Essay Preview: Women 17 Century

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5

Women in the 17th Century

If you were a woman in the 17th century then you had little say so in what happens around the household and around the city. Women were little to nothing in the 17th century. Their roles and treatments throughout the 17th century varied depending on who they were and who they were associated with. Men didn't look at them as women, but only as objects and trophies. Women had no part in things that took place in that century. If you were a woman who was known or somebody then you either had to be a painter or someone brought up in royalty. "Unmarried virgins and wives were to maintain silence in the public sphere and give unstinting obedience to father and husband, though widows had some scope for making their own decisions and managing their affairs." (NAEL 1) So as you can see there were only a few types of women, a few painters, maids, and aristocrats. And not too many women could call themselves aristocrats.

The first class of women I'm going to be discussing is the class of the maids. In the 17th century you had maids ranging from all different types of ages. It didn't matter if the couldn't read and write because they weren't there to do all that. All they were there for was to work for the household. In the book "Girl With A Pearl Earring", the character Greit doesn't know how to read or write but she's good at what she does and that's cleaning. She was sent to the house to do one thing and that's was to keep Johannes Vermeer's studio clean so that he could paint. (Pg. 8) Even though Greit was the maid, Vermeer loved that she had an artistic view on life and his paintings. But still she was the maid and he was the head of the house. With Greit being the new maid and all she had little but big responsibilities. And her main task was to keep Johannes Vermeer's studio clean everyday so that he can paint his portraits. So she did all she can to keep the studio clean. While the other maid tended to the children more than Griet. But don't get it wrong, Greit also did the laundry and some cooking. And one thing I noticed about most of the women in the 17th century is that they didn't really show their hair that much but I don't really know why. "Children and servants were bound to the strictest obedience." (NAEL) The children always listen to their father no matter what and so did the servants and maids.

If you were an aristocrat in the 17th century, then you were a woman of some importance. Either you were married to a well-known man or you were famous of something you did. Or you were just brought up in royalty. In the book, Catharina and Maria Thins are seen as women of aristocrat. Catharina had a since of urgency towards Greit when she came to the house. She was jealous of Greit for the simple fact that she was not allowed in her husband's studio but Greit comes in and automatically get to go in the studio. Catharina was one of the women who had the finer things in life because of her husband and mother, Maria Thins. But Catharina saw Greit as a little competition because of how Greit and Vermeer were connecting. Plus Greit looked better than Catharina anyways. Catharina was getting older and looking more wore out than usual. It probably had something to do with the baby she just had a couple of weeks after Greit arrived to the house. Though women like Catharina were portrayed as those who wear all the fine jeweler and dresses. Are loved by their husbands and would do anything to keep them happy. But in all Catharina and Greit are similar in some ways but ever much different in a lot of other ways.

All women in the 17th century were alike and different in many ways. "Women were taught from birth they were inferior to men". (Life of Women in Tudor England) Women had no say in what happened in their lives. Their parents made all the decisions for them. All the parents wanted were more popularity in the community and throughout the town. As we all know, maids were



Download as:   txt (6.3 Kb)   pdf (89.5 Kb)   docx (10.8 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 12). Women 17 Century. Retrieved 12, 2010, from

"Women 17 Century" 12 2010. 2010. 12 2010 <>.

"Women 17 Century.", 12 2010. Web. 12 2010. <>.

"Women 17 Century." 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010.