Che le Donne siano della Spezie degli Uomini

Arcangela Tarabotti, edited by Letizia Panizza, and introduction by Letizia Panizza
1 January 1994
229 × 152 mm
101 pp
Formats:
Paperback: 978-1-899042-02-9
Forced to take religious vows in 1620, aged sixteen, Arcangela Tarabotti lived and died in the convent of Sant' Anna in Venice. Her works are mainly attacks on the social, political, and religious subordination of women. Her Tirannia paterna and L'Inferno monacale were not allowed publication in her lifetime. Without formal education, Tarabotti found some encouragement from members of the libertine Accademia degli Incogniti, especially its founder G.F. Loredan. He promoted the translation into Italian and publication of a notorious, though anonymous, Latin treatise which claimed Scriptural proof that women did not have a rational soul, and were not redeemed by Christ: like animals, they lacked moral responsibility. In the name of her sex, Tarabotti replied in white heat. She overthrew each section of the treatise denouncing her mail opponent in animal imagery. Tarabotti was the only woman to have provided a comprehensive refutation. In the process, she built up an alternative 'feminist' reading of the Old and New Testaments, to show women's intellectual and moral equality, if not superiority.