Craig A. Monson, author of Nuns Behaving Badly: Tales of Music, Magic, Art, and Arson in the Convents of Italy, connects nunnery to women's suffrage:
American wives and mothers only got the vote in 1920, British women a year or two earlier, French women as late as 1944by which time nuns in cloisters had “had the vote” for a millennium or more, choosing which women might join them and electing sisters to fill convent offices.
Which might begin to explain some of my convent misbehavior. If you take a number of well-bred, comparatively educated women, put them off by themselves, give them “the vote” and the opportunity to take on responsibilities that challenge their resourcefulness and creativity, it’s not surprising if they “get ideas” and develop a certain independent-mindedness.
Which is why this Vatican is so keen to go all Mubarak on them in the US. In Benedict's church, the only ideas allowed are his.