The Middle Ages, a Time When Women Really Had Girl Power

Article excerpt

Byline: By Mike Hornby

Forget the Spice Girl generation - the Middle Ages were a golden era for women, according to an academic study published yesterday. Although the Sixties' sexual revolution led to the feminist movement, according to academic Sue Niebrzydowski, of Bangor University, women who lived 600 years ago had far more girl power than their modern counterparts.

Dr Niebrzydowski, a medievalist at Bangor's Institute of Early and

Modern Studies, studied legal records, books and song lyrics to build up a picture of life for women between the 12th and 15th centuries.

She said, "We assume that women in the past had little economic independence or social power and that they were reliant on fathers or husbands for most of their lives - but we should be wary of holding too many misconceptions about women's lives in the past.

"It is true that most of the information we have is drawn from art, literature or historical records which relate to wealthier women, but middle aged women in the Middle Ages had far more power and independence than we might first imagine. …