So I've been reading some controversial feminist writing from that radical decade that finally achieved women's liberation, the 60's! - Specifically '67. Here's an excerpt:
"Know this most certainly, that a woman who does not avoid the protection of men will destroy either herself or another."
This written by an abbess to Radegund, a new monastic recruit in 567A.D.
A woman entering a Medieval monastary would be free from the extreme dangers of childbirth, would learn to read and write Latin, was expected to have all 150 Psalms memorized, was in general completely free from male control, and would often have serious political and social influence.
Rediscovering these Medieval women is a hot topic in academia right now (thus the class I'm taking on the subject), and the best of it is available in one volume.