Declamation on the Nobility and Preeminence of the Female Sex  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Declamation on the Nobility and Preeminence of the Female Sex (Latin: Declamatio de nobilitate et praecellentia foeminei sexus) is a book by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. Agrippa wrote at Dôle and the work tried to prove the superiority of women using cabalistic ideas. The book was probably intended to impress his patron Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy.

"Originally published in 1529, the Declamation on the Preeminence and Nobility of the Female Sex argues that women are more than equal to men in all things that really matter, including the public spheres from which they had long been excluded.
Rather than directly refuting prevailing wisdom, Agrippa uses women's superiority as a rhetorical device and overturns the misogynistic interpretations of the female body in Greek medicine, in the Bible, in Roman and canon law, in theology and moral philosophy, and in politics. He raised the question of why women were excluded and provided answers based not on sex but on social conditioning, education, and the prejudices of their more powerful oppressors. His declamation, disseminated through the printing press, illustrated the power of that new medium, soon to be used to generate a larger reformation of religion.

See also

reverse gender polarity, female superiority





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