The book of the city of ladies

By Christine de Pizan

In this book, Christine is making a case for the equality of the female sex with their male counterparts. To do this, she builds a city to populate with ladies.

In her view, any woman of virtue is a lady. Birth does not necessarily make a person noble but virtue is the highest nobility.

The book reads like the life of the saints, especially in part three where justice is roofing the city.

There have been men, and even recently some catholic priest argued women want to be raped or battered. She gives examples of women who were raped to dishonour them and killed themselves thereafter. Anyone who would think a woman wants to be raped should have his head chopped off. He doesn’t need it.

Does a woman have to be a virgin to be honoured?  Is virginity in women of such great value? In the third part of the book that I have spoken of already, most if not all the women mentioned are virgins or are married but living in chastity, which is the same thing.

It is so full of fable that some people would find taking it seriously impossible. There are so many miracles that are mentioned in it that for me, took away from the very important business of the book.

I also found it a bit disturbing where some of the women mentioned in building of the city are praised for their goodness in overseeing the death of so many people.


About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

24 thoughts on “The book of the city of ladies

  1. ladysighs says:

    You always give me something to do after reading your posts. What a great and brave lady.


  2. fojap says:

    I’ve always thought that book feels very antiquated and is almost more of a curiosity in this day and age. It’s good that it exists because when people suggest that feminism has somehow made women dissatisfied, implying that in the days before feminism women were somehow not dissatisfied, it’s good to have a few examples of premodern women who have disagreed with the prevailing notions. Since most writings were by men, one tends to assume this is just the tip of the iceberg. Still, the book itself feels too medieval. It sits on the other side of that great cultural divide where things feel less accessible to me.


  3. Very interesting stuff. I need to look this lady up and read more about her. Women want to be raped according to some men and certain Priests, eh? Geniuses. Bloody geniuses. This is 2016, not 1016, correct? Some things never change. The idiocy of certain men, for example.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The feminism of the 1400s certainly left a lot to be desired. Looking at it as a response to ‘The Romance of the Rose’, as it apparently was, puts an interesting spin on it.


  5. Hariod Brawn says:

    “Anyone who would think a woman wants to be raped should have his head chopped off.”

    A smaller part would suffice.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. carmen says:

    Best. Response. Ever. (she claps and clinks champagne glass!) πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Hmm. I don’t think I would like this book. Feminism for the times? Nah. Need to go full out for it.


  8. Scottie says:

    I have always wondered why a females virginity is so important, while a males is not. If one is to be a value then should not the other, and if one is not then should neither be? As a gay man I guess I am missing something but to tell the truth I never found it a value in any partner I ever had, much more a hindrance and hassle. Especially when it was my own. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Real real me says:

    I love your sincere review!


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