In Russia and in Russia, as in any other patriarchal society, the life of a woman was associated with many restrictions and prohibitions.
The mores became especially strict after the adoption of Christianity. Russian Domostroy was very strict in regulating the situation
They expected chastity and humility from a girl, and thriftiness and obedience from a woman.
Particularly unenviable was the fate of the old maidens or the disgraced. They had no place in society at all.
Therefore, they tried to get married, despite the fact that in marriage the husband’s full and unconditional power over his wife was established.
But even under these conditions, the daughters of Eve went to various tricks in order to preserve little liberties for themselves even under severe pressure.
What tricks did Russian women use?
It was scary to remain a century old. Therefore, Russian girls were ready for any tricks to please the potential groom.
Therefore, the girl could be heavily fattened in a couple of months before Smotrin. To appear more plump in front of the groom, a potential bride could put on several skirts at once, put a rag in the chest and buttocks.
The skin was whitewashed with chalk or
The blush was made with beetroot or berry juice, the lips were bitten for redness.
Christianity considered innocence to be an indispensable virtue of a girl and a condition for marriage.
But life is life, not everyone went to the altar as virgins.
Blood on the sheet on their wedding night was considered a sign of innocence. She was brought out in the morning for everyone to see.
If there was no blood, the girl was dishonored. Then everything was at the discretion of the husband and his family. The girl could be returned in shame to her parents’ house. Most often, such a scenario ended in beatings and
In peasant families, they could close their eyes if the girl was strong and hard-working, and the groom was not a gift: poor, drinking, widower with a bunch of children, etc. In the upper classes, a good dowry could cover up dishonor.
But in any case, the girl tried to hide the fact of her lack of virginity.
Many surviving wedding ceremonies prove that not everyone wanted to be downtrodden and obedient.
Some of the Russian girls adhered to the rule: «The husband’s head, and the wife’s neck turns wherever she wants.»
Therefore, in the naive ritual form of the bride at the wedding, they tried to bewitch the opportunity to be with her husband later on equal terms, or even secretly dominate.
To do this, in the church it was necessary to hold the candle higher than that of the groom, bite off a piece larger than the husband’s from the wedding loaf and be the first to step on the foot scarf.
Dependence on a man, the fear of being an old maid, forced the girls to take the strangest steps to secure a groom, and subsequently a husband.
They tried to slip a potential groom
After the wedding, the wives also resorted to conspiracies and magic. With their help, they could try to turn their husbands away from drunkenness, to subordinate him to their will. To do this, they secretly fed and soldered special herbs and substances, performed rituals over the sleeping person, sewed amulets into clothes, embroidered special patterns and signs on it, etc.
If society turned a blind eye to male betrayal, women were not forgiven for this.
Before Peter the Great, an unfaithful wife could even be executed, flogged or
To hide the infidelity, girlfriends or relatives could conspire among themselves, providing each other with alibis.
In the nineteenth century, among the highest aristocracy, betrayal of her husband became almost universal. Noble ladies could cheat on their husbands, even without really hiding.
To preserve decency, aristocrats could choose young men from familiar families as lovers, so as not to attract attention to themselves by meetings with strangers.