Monday, May 7, 2012
Constantly challenging the Biblical story of Adam and Eve often used to explain why women should expect to suffer, Hutchinson made no bones about presenting her concerns related to women's lack of rights in the Anglican church and the prejudice against Native Americans that was typical in Boston society. Needless to say, all of this convinced her Puritan opponents that Hutchinson's stance was threatening to undermine the authority of the male hierarchy of the church and, therefore, must be fought as heretical to their interpretation of God's law.
Accused of having "stepped out of her place," and becoming "a husband rather than a wife and a preacher rather than a hearer," Hutchinson was found guilty of "lewd and lascivious conduct" for having both men and women under her roof at one time and forced to re-settle to what later became Rhode Island. Undaunted, however, she subsequently rejected authority altogether, espousing the perspective of "individual anarchism." A feisty lady, indeed, for the early 1600's.