Western Civilization

Historical Forum Debate:  Did Women Have a Renaissance?


Did European women and men benefit equally from the Renaissance?  After reading the “Taking Sides” handout and researching the roles of women in the Medieval versus the Renaissance period, you should be able to argue one side or the other.


Read the “Taking Sides” handout (like below) and divide up based on the issue of whether or not women benefitted equally from the Renaissance.  Here are some questions to consider, and be sure you can answer and debate these questions by providing EVIDENCE:

      • What was the Renaissance, or what were some of the major ideas of the Renaissance time period?

      • Did women receive the same kind of educational benefits as men during the Renaissance?

      • Did Renaissance society demonstrate an advancement in socially acceptable roles for women?  Did Renaissance society and culture offer greater opportunities for women?

      • How did Renaissance society and culture view women’s physical and emotional needs in relation to those of men?

      • What are examples of women who experienced advancement in the Renaissance (art, education, politics, religion)?

      • How do the roles, opportunities and acceptable norms for women in the Renaissance compare to previous eras (like the Medieval period)?

Research Resources:

     Women from the Renaisssance to the Enlightenment (focus upon the Renaissance Period)

     Taking Sides:  Did Women Have a Renaissance?

Debate Assignments:

     BOYS -- PRO (Women DID Have a Renaissance)

     GIRLS -- CON (Women DID NOT Have a Renaissance)