For example, early marriages were a normal phenomenon whereby, young teenage girls were married off to older mature men especially amidst the upper class families where marriage was a tool of reinforcing allegiances and expanding the family’s wealth (US History). In addition, only women from rich families had access to any form of education. However, it is important to note that gender differences predetermined the type of education one received; for example, scientific academic disciplines were only offered to males. In spite of these dire circumstances, some women remained determined to educate themselves. One such woman was Lavina Fontana (1552-1614) who rose to become a professional and highly sought after painter for the very rich. Her expertise transcended over her husband who was also a fellow painter. It was highly unusual at the time for a woman to be both married, a mother and working (Castiglione).
Luretia Marrinella was to set a new standard for women as she neither saw herself as devious nor frivolous but as serious with the ability to think. She defied the negative perception that women were slow and soft, a presumption held even by humanists such as Alberti who the society considered to be ahead of the zeitgeist (spirit of the times) for they lobbied for equality. Marrinella, a poet wrote great quality pieces as she mourned her dead husband. This set her apart from other women in the society (Castiglione).
The achievements of most modern influential women would seem unreal for women living in the predominantly controlled masculine culture in the past. Modern new day feminists like Gloria Steinem have taken fighting for women’s rights to a higher level through advocacy, politics, media, leadership, and of course the age-old art of writing in journals and newspaper columns (Marcello 5). Alice Walker popular for her novel “The Color Purple” is an activist and author