because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Anne Hutchinson

Called "a woman of ready wit and bold spirit," Anne Hutchinson was ultimately banned with her followers from Massachusetts by the Puritan church for having the audacity to believe that women could be religious leaders, too.  Meetings at her house wherein the faithful came together to discuss sermons and scriptures, started out with just a few women and eventually grew to crowds of sixty or more men and women every week.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment