Paternal Tyranny

Paternal Tyranny

Arcangela Tarabotti

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226789651

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

Sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, Arcangela Tarabotti (1604–1652) yearned to be formally educated and enjoy an independent life in Venetian literary circles. But instead, at sixteen, her father forced her into a Benedictine convent. To protest her confinement, Tarabotti composed polemical works exposing the many injustices perpetrated against women of her day, the first of which, presented in this book, is a fiery, but carefully argued, manifesto against the oppression of women by the Venetian patriarchy. Denouncing key misogynist texts of the era, she shows how despicable it was for Venice to deprive its women of rights accorded even to foreigners, and accuses parents of treating convents as dumping grounds for disabled, illegitimate, or otherwise unwanted daughters. Tarabotti also demonstrates that women are clearly men's equals in God's eyes. An avenging angel who dared to speak out for the rights of women nearly four centuries ago, Arcangela Tarabotti can now finally be heard.