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3The Church fathers re-establish the husband’s patriarchal authority and the patriarchal values of Roman and Jewish law.The Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great, has his wife burned alive when she is no longer of use to him.The women are on trial for lesbianism when domestic violence is revealed.The defendent, Catharina Linck, is sentenced to death.Since by law, a husband is held liable for crimes committed by his wife, this law was designed to protect the husband from harm caused by the wife’s actions.These laws permit the husband to beat his wife with a rod or switch as long as its circumference is no greater than the girth of the base of the man’s right thumb, hence “The Rule of Thumb.” The tradition of these laws is perpetuated in English Common Law and throughout most of Europe.
The habit of looking upon women as a species apart, without the same feelings and capacity for suffering which men possess, becomes inbred during the Middle Ages.
A half a century later, many Russian women fight back.
When they kill their husbands for all the injustices they have been forced to endure, their punishment is to be buried alive with only their heads above the ground, and left to die.
He states that when women married, they “gave themselves to their husbands” in contract, and could not withdraw that consent until they divorced.
“The husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual matrimonial consent a [sic] contract with wife hath given herself in this kind unto her husband, which she cannot retract.” This is the basis of the “contractual consent” theory.