1st Edition

Gender, Violence and Attitudes Lessons from Early Modern Europe

By Satu Lidman Copyright 2018
    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    Gender, Violence and Attitudes explores the history of gender-based violence in early modern Europe, particularly intimate-partner violence and sexual violence. It also investigates the legacy of gender-based violence through the Enlightenment to the present day and offers a historical background to highly topical human rights issues.

    Although the individual subjects of gender and the history of violence are not new topics, the gendering of violence has received little examination. Within this book, the history of attitudes and practices related to gender and power are analysed, and the nature of violence, justice and societal considerations of gender are explored as cultural constructs: they have the capacity to change over time, although there also is a tendency for continuity. The study is based on a wide range of sources including marriage guides, poems, plays, legal texts and court records exploring deep-rooted violence phenomena in Sweden (including historical Finland), the German territories, England and, to some extent, France.

    Offering a detailed analysis of gender and the culture of violence, Gender, Violence and Attitudes is essential reading for students and general readers who wish to understand the history of violence and its continual association with gender from early modern Europe to the present day.

    Part I. Introduction: Teaching and Learning

    1.1 Studying Gender and Violence

    Objectives of research * Attitudinal history and other essential concepts * Previous studies and sources

    1.2 Historical Roots of Topical Issues

    Ineludible patriarchy * From women’s rights to human rights and feminism * On the prevalence and dynamics of gender-based violence

    Part II. Spousal Trouble: Fighting Like Cats and Dogs

    2.1 Gendering Marital Disputes

    Mirror of affection: mutual duties * To love and fear your husband * Masculine norms of violence and aggression

    2.2 Domestic Discipline or Crimes of Violence?

    The power to protect * Between excessive and appropriate chastisement * Legitimizing spousal power relations * Punishable tyranny

    2.3 Women’s Aggression against Men

    First there was nagging * Female devil in the wrong trousers * Inverted perpetrators and victims

    2.4 Dissolving, Annulling or Preserving a Marriage

    Strategies of guilt * Aiming at harmony * The slippery slopes of intimate-partner violence

    Part III. Sexual Trouble: Her will and His

    3.1 Daughters, Wives and Mothers

    Obedience or agency? * The double standards of chastity * Knowing your place

    3.2 Fathers, Brothers and Husbands

    Be in control or be ashamed * The virile subject * Challenging toxic masculinity

    3.3 Rape and Hierarchies of Victimhood

    Ravished and taken * Who deserved legal protection? * Deep-rooted rape culture

    3.4 Invisible Sexualized Violence

    One spouse takes, the other one gives * Elements of intimacy and violence * Sexualized rhetoric and slander

    Epilogue: Breaking Down Structures of Violence

    Appendix: Mental Exercises


    Satu Lidman is Adjunct Professor at the University of Turku, Finland. Her previous publications include two co-edited collections entitled Morality, Crime and Social Control in Europe 1500–1900 (2014) and Framing Premodern Desires (2017), among others. For more information visit: www.lidman.fi.

    Translation by Eva Malkki