How Feudalism Related to Gender Inequality

The position of women in the feudal system was largely influenced by the Roman Catholic Church, which was the only religion during medieval times. This period saw the creation of chivalry, a code for how knights were supposed to behave toward women. Even though this code is said to have increased respect for women, it also reinforced gender stereotypes, such as that women were quiet and submissive.

Women in the Age of Feudalism

The feudal system was a hierarchical structure of land ownership, with the monarch at the top, who granted rights to lesser lords, who in turn granted rights to their vassals. The relationship between these individuals was based on mutual obligation and loyalty. Feudalism was an age that both favored men and women.

The primary roles of women were as married mothers and housewives; however, they also had some freedom because they were not bound by any societal expectation to fulfill those roles. Women could inherit property from their parents and keep it even if they married someone else; however, they were usually required to give up some of this privilege if they wanted children or male heirs from their husbands’ estates (usually upon marriage). In many cases throughout history there have been laws stating that fathers will always own all lands given by himself or his ancestors back through time – even if he does not want them anymore (which are called “heritage laws”). This means that all inherited land passes down through generations until ALL males die off before females then take over all remaining land which has been passed down from generation after generation since its first owner died without leaving behind any surviving sons!

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How Feudalism Affected Gender Roles

Feudalism was a hierarchical system. The center of power was held by men, who were expected to be dominant and authoritative. Women were supposed to be submissive to their husbands, and they were also expected to stay at home and take care of the children while men went out into the world as knights and lords. Women were expected to be pious and chaste as well; if they had extramarital affairs or committed adultery, it would reflect poorly on their husbands. This made it difficult for women who wanted anything other than marriage or motherhood—and even then, wives needed their husbands’ permission in order to inherit land from them (although this changed in some regions much later).

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How Noble Bloodlines Increased the Power of Women

You may be wondering how women were able to inherit land and wealth in the first place, since they were not legally allowed to own property. The answer is that noble bloodlines often married off their daughters as young as possible. This way, even if the woman had no money or power when she was born into her family, she would still be able to inherit it later in life through her husband or (in some cases) even his mistress.

This practice meant that women could have more power than their husbands or fathers did—a rare occurrence during feudalism’s rule over Europe between 900–1450 CE. In fact, some historians argue that this increase in female authority led directly back toward democracy because it made people question whether male leadership was really necessary at all.

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Gender inequality was very prevalent during the feudalism period.

In the feudal period women were considered inferior to men. They were not allowed to own property, work outside the home or vote. A woman was also not allowed to attend school or start her own business.


The feudal system that was dominant during the Middle Ages put peasants at the mercy of the lords who ruled them. This feudalism structure was echoed in the gender roles of this time, which placed even more power in the hands of men and left women with little to no rights. Despite this, noblewomen were given a position of authority over their own estates because they were able to manage their husband’s lands until he returned from war. In this way, there are some parallels between today’s society where we see women taking on more responsibilities than ever before due to their husbands being away on military duty or other reasons such as increased numbers working outside home

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