Sample Essay On The Letters Of Heloise And Abelard:

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Women, Men, Society, Context, Europe, Support, Time, Nature

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/27


The controversy on superiority of sexes has been one of the most debated topics of all time. Taking into account the cradle of civilization which is the European continent, it is clear that there is an exquisite distinction of male and female functionality. Most of the governments of the earliest society specifically in Greece are led by males. As a matter of fact, there are no women philosophers accounted for any invention or discovery from the Greeks.
In this paper, we will support the initial notion of Abelard and Heloise that women are inferior to men. The letters of Heloise to his husband shows a great argument on why were women created to be inferior to men. As a result, Heloise has given courage to Abelard to gain confidence about the matter. Other literatures will be also discussed in support to the notion of women are inferior to men. The sexual relationship of Abelard and Heliose will not be the tackled thoroughly.

Heloise was a prominent character in the 12th century. She was one of the greatest protesters of feminist programs. She claimed that God created man and woman not on the same level. Abelard on the other hand was also a great man with great ideas. To his humility he always suggests that Heloise is not inferior to him, which was later on debunked by Heloise.
It was also known that Heloise and Abelard have something to do with sexual relationship. When they were discovered, Abelard showed great courage to ask Heloise to marry him. It is evident that by that time having sexual affair to others outside of marriage is a carnal sin. Somehow this was quite a big deal if we were to live at that time. There were many points given by these two people regarding the inferiority of women to men. Abelard has been using biblical quotes like women are there to please and serve their husbands and Heloise agrees to it. But Heloise’s point is not bringing women to the deepest pits. She also reiterated that women must be given the right to food, because they are less prone to sin.
First and foremost, the European society in the 12th century is highly patriarchal. They are governed by the Aristotle and Turtilian perspective about women. Moreover, there are also many Christian scholars including popes and saints that have delineated the value of women to the society. This has made both Abelard and Heloise to be more inclined in the thought of women is inferior to men. But with respect to the societies’ view that time, Abelard and Heloise’s are more refined and biblically thought.

Thesis Statement:

“Women are inferior to men intrinsically and extrinsically.”
In his letter to Heloise, Abelard agrees to the thought that Heloise’s name should not be placed first before him. Abelard later said that in the natural law, women are truly weak before men (Abelard and Heloise, 137). Physically speaking women are weak against men. Abelard is talking about the natural order of the species. In support to his views, we are looking at the natural way males and females function in a normal environment. Men are generally the hunters and the breadwinners.
In the Stone Age, group of male Neanderthals do the hunting to provide to their female flock. In reference to extrinsic differences, men are muscular and are considered stronger than women. Moreover, the test of physical strength has been proven by many men, in the ancient times. Moving on, as a support to the physical strengths of men, many male animals are considered as the leaders and protectors of their flock. For an instance, a male lion governs a group of lioness. Additionally, many early tribes of humans are governed by males. For an example, Muslims are led by a Sultan which is a male. Another example is the Philippine context of a society. A “Datu” is the leader of a tribe which is referred to as the strongest man of his place.
Intrinsically, women are soft. This is based on psychological aspects of a human being. Women are considered to be weak in the inside because they tend to be more emotional. Women are very outspoken when they are depressed according to statistics (Dep Stat, 2014). This was also given emphasis when Heloise falls into depression. Moreover, in a biblical context women are weak because they were the ones who fall to Satan’s temptation. Also with respect to the medieval context, women literacy is very low and their functions were maintained as to be in the household. Moreover, the letters of Abelard and Heloise are always agreeing on the fact that how society functionalized women as the defector that caused men to sin is given intensity.
Heloise also added in her letters that women are the cause of many downfalls. Also she quoted a verse in the proverbs that men should not easily fall to the trap of many women. Evidently, Heloise was more inclined to the thought of women are inferior to men because of the scripture.


Generally, the context of women as inferior to men is still a debatable topic. Additionally, there are feminist reforms nowadays that strive to gain equal status to men. But regardless, of all the arguments the tendency of women being weak to men is natural. But the common human rights of women should not also be disregarded.
All in all, there were a modest bunch of occasions that Abelard and Heloise had contradicting perspectives on male and females particularly in the thought of females' profound status; yet in numerous events found in letters, they both demonstrated steady sex perspective that males are better than females. This idea is also a given medieval context (Blamires,p.103). This well fits in with the conventional medieval intuition based upon the Aristotle and Tertullian conducts, which satisfactorily bolster the contention that Abelard and Heloise, notwithstanding their apparently radical musings, couldn't totally escape from the medieval perspective. In any case, their constant endeavors to question and reason with the powers have surely made the general public go ahead. What's more, in reality, the focal medieval society started to experience the social arousing with the deluge of new messages and thoughts.

Work Cited:

Blamires, Alcuin (pp.103-105). “The Case for Women in Medieval Culture”. 2014. Print.
Depression statistics. Retrieved July 6, 2014 from:
Heloise to Abelard, Letter 127, 12, 10, 11, 27, from Latin trans. Luscombe & Radice (2013). 

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