Aztec Women Roles and Society

3058 words 13 pages
The roles of women are useful to historians because they provide an insight into the life experiences, cultures, thoughts, and every day life of a historical period. Similarly this essay will examine the roles of women, which provide insight into the Aztec civilization’s many strengths. The Aztec child bearer/warrior, priestess and sexual being will be analyzed to display that gender relations were complementary that produced equality. The midwife and weaver reveal that the Aztec’s specialization proved successful through fields like medicine and the market. Finally the Aztec daughter and mother will be examined to show that the Aztec’s had a strong socialization system established through education and the family. For these reasons …show more content…

In this role women were expected to be sexually abstinent until marriage, “Nothing it, it is still untouched nowhere twisted, still virgin, pure undefiled.” Similarly men were told not to “lust for vice for filth (illicit sex) that which is deadly” or else “though wert a dog.” Thus both women and men were expected to be sexually abstinent. This focus on sexual abstinence developed because it ensured fertile potency when sex in marriage occurred and allowed ont ao achieve a “good heart.” Both men and women were similarly punished through sacrifice, decapitation, placed into slavery for being promiscuous or committing extra marital affairs as the Codex of Mendoza supports with images of couples being executed. Therefore although women were different than men, they were equally responsible to uphold sexual abstinence for the greater moral good. The midwife reveals that the Aztec’s specialization of labour was successful because this allowed one to have extensive knowledge in one field that advanced certain sectors like medicine. The Aztec thought was that each person had a distinctive specialized role to perform in the greater scheme. The Aztec field of medicine like other societal sectors was specialized and gendered so that males were predominantly “doctors” and healers whilst women were midwives. The midwife – ciuatl temixiuitli – treated disease, aided with


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