Friday, November 6, 2009

Do women have a soul?

I was looking up something in a French reference book last week. Quid is a sort of who’s who, encyclopaedia, years news, lists of everything, book. We have the 1992 issue; 2000 pages to get lost in. I was surprised to find that there was a section entitled ‘women’.

This included the debate about souls and whether women were to be considered a human being at all. This is a very ancient debate, by the way, and was used to illustrate some point or other. A lot of statistics, including how many women are beaten and the social background of the men beating them up. Then there were statistics on prostitution giving lots of details on the social background, race, and religion of the men paying for services. How long do women spend on housework? Not a very positive bunch of figures at all. It would have been more interesting to see how many women have received the Nobel peace prize for instance (In the quid yes, but not in the women’s part), the women holding important posts in politics, education etc. I haven’t looked at a more recent Quid. I do hope they’ve managed to find women’s souls in the last 17 years.

9 comments:

Dru Marland said...

...though to find them, they'd have to go looking in the first place instead of sitting around agreeing among themselves, presumably

Anji said...

Dru: Good point. needless to say the compilers of the information were men.

Donna said...

I think we rank right up there with lizards!!hahaa...hughugs

Anji said...

Donna: It's a good job I wasn't drinking coffee when I read that!

Maven said...

I surfed over and had to comment :-)

I'm still not over where the expression "Rule of Thumb" came from - that a man could not beat his wife with a stick any larger than his thumb.

Anji said...

Maven: that shocked me too. I am not going to look it up to see when it finished - the law is probably still enforcable!

Anonymous said...

the debate whether woman had souls is a myth. I too got caught up in it. the debate was actually if woman should be included in the latin word homo (man) or not the council said yes they should and that was the end of that. Several centuries later while poking fun at a sect that took the bible literally a pamphlet was written to show the absurditiy of it, it was then spread around Europe and some people thought it was for real and countered it with their own writings. An anti catholic Baptist (which I am one-Baptist not anti catholic)got a hold of the writings and used it to incite people against the catholic church saying they didn't belive woman had souls. Now there are plenty of other crazy ideas that they argued about but the issues of women not having souls was not one of them. I hope this has helped clarify.

Anonymous said...

Oh yea, one postscript. The controversy was mostly in france and that is why you probably found it in some french publications.
God bless(make happy) your soul

Anji said...

Anon: Thank you for your useful research. I know that in the North of France when a woman was giving birth to a baby boy, if a choice had to be made, it would be the boy. The idea being he could become a Cardinal one day!


Fortunately (as regards women having souls) although most people in France would tell you that they are Catholic, a lot of them don't practise a religion any more.