The Status of Women in New Testament and Lysistrata


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The Status of Women in New Testament and Lysistrata

 

      Since the beginning of time the treatment of women has improved

dramatically.  In the earliest of times women were mere slaves to men.  Today

women are near equals in almost all fields.  In 411 B.C., when Lysistrata was

written, men had many stunning advantages to that of their female counterparts.

Although women's rights between 30 and 100 A.D., the time of the New Testament,

were still not what they are today, the treatment of women was far better.

Overall, the equality of women in the New Testament exceeds that of the women in

Lysistrata in three major ways:  physical mobility, society's view of women's

nature, and women's public legal rights.

 

      Albeit in Lysistrata the women were shown as revolutionaries rising up

against the men, women in classical Greece were never like that.  Aristophanes

created the play as a comedy, showing how the world might be in the times of the

Peloponesian war if women tried to do something.  It was the women's job to stay

home and tend to the house, and never leave, unlike they did in the play, the

women were shown as revolutionaries rising up against the men, women in

classical Greece were never like that.

 

      The activities of women in Classical Athens were confined to "bearing

children, spinning and weaving, and maybe managing the domestic arrangements. No

wandering in the beautiful streets for them."   The suppression of women went so

far as to divide the house into separate areas for males and females.  While the

women stayed home, the men were usually out fighting, and when they weren't

fighting, they were entertaining their friends and having sexual favors

performed by courtesans.

 

      The rights of women in early Christianity were a far cry from today,

although they were much better off than their Athenian counterparts.  In the

Christian church, women were treated as equals.  The first evidence of this is

when the woman with hemorrhages touches Jesus' clothing and he says that her

faith has made her well (Mark 5:34).  This shows that both sexes are treated

equally in that eyes of god even though at this time the hemorrhages that the

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woman was having was a symbol of uncleanness, and that good things can happen to

both if they have enough "faith."

 

      The rights of women are also extended in the New Testament when the

rights of husband and wife are shown as equals.  It is stated that each should

show affection to their partner, and that each partner controls their mate's

body (I Corinthians 7:3-4).  This shows that each person should be equal in the

marriage, unlike in Lysistrata where the man did whatever he wanted to whomever

he wanted while the woman slaved at home .

 

      Women were also considered to be more "enpowered" in the times of the

New Testament.  This is displayed when the women nearly monopolize the practice

of speaking in tongues, or even speaking at all (I Corinthians 14:36).  Speaking

in tongues was thought to be much like talking from the angels, which was

considered to special talent.

 

      Overall the women of early Christianity had a better quality of life

than those in classical Athens.  They were not only allowed to leave the house

more, but they were also treated more as equals in society's view of women, and

their public rights.

 


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