Masculinity in medieval times

The role of the male

The role of the male has changed significantly since medieval times although there are several similarities. Men were considered the breadwinners and the most important people in the family unit. Women endeavoured to please the men around them and were often subservient to their needs. Men were considered the most important members of society and were treated with respect and admiration. Men were not expected to tend to their home or their children; this was the work of women.

Male employment in medieval times

The social status of a man was determined by his wealth and the amount of land he owned; life for peasant males was often difficult and they were often employed as servants of richer men. Peasants were also required to fight in times of war. Wealthier men often owned vast amounts of land and employed peasants or women to look after it; most rich men didn’t work as such and relied on the money generated by their land or an inheritance from their ancestors to make up their income. Common jobs for poorer men included farming and working the land, while richer men were often employed in the Courts or as Knights.

Men’s rights

Wealthy men had more rights than both poorer men and women. Wealthy men often played a part in the regulation of society and had a voice in major decisions and votes. Men had the right to choose a wife and decide when they wanted children.