What Were Gender Roles in the Renaissance?

Gender roles in the Renaissance were similar to the years prior the Renaissance in that women did not have active, independent roles in society and were subjects of their husband’s will while men were able to work, vote and own property. The Renaissance was about an emergence of creativity and new thinking, but women were excluded from this as they were considered inferior to the men.

Even though England had a series of female rulers in their queens, women were still not given many rights. Women were expected to marry and not to be seen in public. Women were expected to pay attention to attire and dress within social class. As young girls, the parents were in charge and as women, the husband was in charge. Women were expected to run a household even when they were of an upper class socioeconomic status and had servants.

Men, on the other hand, had a great number of freedoms and were expected to provide for the family, own property and vote in elections provided that they were citizens and of a particular social class. Even men of lower social classes, however, had more power and access to rights than that of upper class women. A few wealthy women were able to have independence in some ways though their roles in society still paled in comparison to that of their husbands.