feme sole


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Related to feme sole: feme covert

feme sole

a single woman, whether spinster, widow, or divorcee; a woman whose marriage has been annulled or who is otherwise independent of her husband, as by owning her own property.
References in periodicals archive ?
A feme sole is an unmarried woman whereas a feme covert is a married woman.
With marriage, the single woman's role changed from feme sole to feme covert.
Baptist women in the roles of daughter, feme sole, feme covert, and widow took on these roles in largely the same manner as conforming women.
Placing Clarissa side by side with the legal treatises presents a conflicted image of maternal guardianship: according to the treatises, the widowed mother remains a feme covert parent, delegitimized as a natural replacement for the father by the 1660 statue; according to Clarissa, the widowed mother becomes the most powerful type of feme sole because she can assume all of the economic powers of the father.
The feme covert mother, who supposedly remains a covert wife after the husband's death, openly enters the courtroom in a position that is more empowered than that of the feme sole widow, acting on behalf not only of herself, but of her children.
Howe rejects Antony's proposal, calling attention to her empowered feme sole position by writing, "I have been a widow these ten years; nobody to control me--And I am said not to bear control: so, sir, you and I are best as we are, I believe" (631).
Even without knowing the terms of Mary Frith's marriage settlement, we can define her status as that of a feme sole merchant.
There is no denying that Mary Frith as feme sole or, to put it in terms of Defoe's Roxana, as "a Masculine in Politick Capacity," had seized an occupation in the dynamic market of stolen goods, a market that was mainly dominated by men.
She was now putting forward, Pooke complained, the same argument in her defense, saying "that she is Maryed to the same Markham and soe being a feme Covert, she cannot be ympleaded as a feme Sole.