They glitter with jewels, but they are dirtied by their habits."(39) Or again, he notes that "if among men moral vigor is `a rare bird on earth,' how much more rare [is it] among refined and noble women."(40) The phrase "clothed in purple and fine linen," applied above in Bernard's critique of the noble woman, reappears in a scolding letter written to the man who later became Archdeacon of Langres.(41) It should be no wonder then that we observe that the soft clothing (mollities vestimentorum) of some monks and the silks, plumes, and paints of worldly knights, not to mention their long locks (femineo comam) and full tunics, are truly "effeminate" in more ways than one.(42) "Soft clothes," on man or woman, "are a sign of a soul without strength."(43)
Sin entered the world due to Eve's blanditiae, her physical charm, her capacity for flattery, and Adam's mollities, his effeminacy or fleshly weakness.(45) Eve is often portrayed as foolish, silly, or irrational (stulta, insipiens, insipientia), and she is particularly
Mercy, he warns, can become extreme soft-heartedness (mollior affectus), and the eye filled with this "womanly weakness of the soul" (muliebri mollitie animi) does not see rightly.(30) This association of woman with the passions rather than with the rational intellect is also discovered in Bernard's rhetoric of emasculation.
suffusus fluxa quadam et muliebri mollitie animi rectum non videt."