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The Social and Spiritual Dilemmas Among Women When we stop and consider the fact that women in our country were not able to vote until 1920 it is staggering to imagine the obstacles facing women during the Middle Ages The 19th Amendment to our Constitution was ratified only after women fought for twenty years to be given the right to vote One of the best-known leaders of the womens suffrage movement and the first acting President of the League of Women Voters Carrie Chapman Catt inflamed this nation with her speeches advocating womens rights She was seen as a pioneer for women one who faced prejudice and resistanceyet she lived only one hundred years ago She wasnt even born until 1859 four years after the death of Margery Kempe It is almost impossible to conceive of the obstacles facing a woman born in the 14th century a woman who felt such passion about expressing her spiritual beliefs that she was willing to do so during a time when women had no voice In the pre-scientific mass psyche of the Middle Ages religion and the spiritual self in general played a very important role in womens lives but to be outspoken about theses spiritual experiences was unheard of The religious activities that were practiced by women were intense guilt ridden emotions toward this anxious brand of Christianity The Book of Margery Kempe shows great examples of the social and spiritual tribulations that every day women went through in the Middle Ages Margery Kempe was born in 1373 around the time Chaucer was writing She was raised in Norfolk Kings Lynn England Although she was born to wealthy parents Margery Kempe a mayors daughter never received a formal education nor could she read or write The fact that she was an illiterate woman during the medieval times who somehow managed to dictate an autobiography that is still read today is remarkable She was not an
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