Renaissance Man vs. Renaissance Woman

06/04/2018

Each week I like to read the material with you, that way we are mentally on the same page. This week, what stuck out to me was the differences between the Renaissance man and the Renaissance woman. (There's a table on page 195 of your textbook, Landmarks in Humanities, that compares the two sexes.) 

The Renaissance man, above all, must be well versed in the humanities, the written word, and know how to verbally conduct his arguments as not to sound ignorant. Process that list for a moment. Why would it be important to be well versed in the humanities? I'm sure you ask yourself that every time you open your textbook - why bother with humanities. Well, let me put it another way - Why should I give two flying ducks about your problems or why you can't finish your assignment on time? Why should I care about your sick grandma or late work schedule? Why should I care if English is your second language or you're Catholic, Atheist, or Agnostic? Could it be that the more I care about your plight the more I can relate to you, the more I can adjust my thinking and rules to help you, or could it be you're are a member of my team and I want you to be successful? Hmmm... all food for thought. The Renaissance men did not live in a bubble like we do today. While the internet connects us to the outside world, the Renaissance man was physically interacting with the outside world daily - especially if he was a member of the court.

Landmarks in Humanities
Landmarks in Humanities

Now, onto the Renaissance woman. It is hard for a modern-day woman to read the 'Renaissance Lady' column without rolling her eyes - know your place, right ladies! But, let us read this objectively and try to refrain from injecting our modern beliefs onto the Renaissance Lady. For one, the Renaissance Lady was in all rights the opposite of the man. She was meek, pleasant, graceful, and humble. She had to know her place, know the type of person she was speaking too, and project an air of discernment as to protect herself from harm. Considering all that, the Renaissance woman is not too far off from the modern-day woman. Today, women must be strong and independent but also, very knowledgeable in the ways of politics, education, and the workforce. Women must be very careful what they say and do to protect their reputations and careers.

Not much has changed for the sexes!?!

But... more food for thought. We have something the Renaissance didn't openly have - new sexes! What would a third column read in relation to the ideal transgender, intersex, or transvestite?!?!

Kelly Perez, Adjunct Professor, Philosophy