The Roles of Women in Ancient Greece and the Reasons for their Subordination Women in Greece were treated very differently from the men, they were thought of as less and weak men. The men controlled the lives of the women and made sure the women felt this way and knew their place. “Married women in Greece had three main jobs raise their children for the sake of Athens, show no weakness than was natural to their sex and avoid gossip.”(J. Coffin & R. Stacey 125).This was thought by all men in Greece but even more so in Athens. As time went on women became more inferior to men the problem did not get any better as Greece went into the dark ages. During the dark ages it is not exactly sure how many resources they Greek people lost, many major settlements were abandoned there are no written facts from this time and it was assumed that the people were illiterate.
Women also have generally had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men. From the text from Kilshansky, The Spartan Constitution, Lycurgus believed that motherhood is the most important function of freeborn woman. Lycurgus then insisted on physical training of the females along with the males. Lycurgus also believed that to have future success is to have a strong youth. The Hellenic times were like this for the sole reason that few elite men ruled.
A woman was owned by her father and then passed on to her husband. Olivia, a single, rebellious woman in 'The Twelfth Night' lost all her rights once she married. At the start of the Duke Orisino and Sir Andrew actually feel thr... ... middle of paper ... ...e revolting against the inequality between men and women. Even Queen Elizabeth was reluctant to marry as she would have to obey her husband. Also, marrying was not always a girls dream during the Elizabethan Era.
Homer’s male characters often saw women as second-hand citizens who had not true voice in society. One example of a women who is oppressed by men in the text is Odysseus’ wife Penelope. Although Penelope is queen of Ithaca her power in the kingdom is limited. Her life is controlled by her son Telemachus and the Achaean suitors who have been taken advantage of the kingdom for several years. At one point in the text Telemachus tells his mother “Words are for men, for all, especially for me; for power within this house rest here” (Homer, 7).
All the mother cared about was if her daughters were going to get married. She would try to find men to marry her daughters. Being single back then women got looked down upon. The societal strictures on women played in marriage played a huge part in the story and marriages in the 1800s. In the story “Pride and Prejudice” women had many obligations and few choices.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story The Yellow Wallpaper demonstrates how women in the late 1800s felt trapped to their husbands, how men typically thought less of women, and how men made the house hold decisions. Before the women’s rights movement got started in the late 1800s woman had little rights causing them to feel trapped to men. One of the reasons that women would sometimes feel trapped to men is because women at the time could not own their own land, and society looked at them as either their father’s belonging or when they got married they belonged to their husband. Women wanted to be able to own their own land and to be able to form their own identity by what they have accomplished in life (Gender Issues and Sexuality). Since the fathers or husbands “owned” the women of that time this could sometimes make the women feel trapped.
The social, physical, and mental expectations of women were very high and very strict. Women were to be married young and as virgins to their much older husbands (pg. 28). They were also expected to produce children, specifically sons, and were not allowed access to the legal system in most areas of Greece (Ian and Powell, 28-34). They could not be and were not seen as individuals outside of their homes, and ancient Greek texts held a mostly misogynous view of women during that time (Ian and Powell, 28-32).
To remain a spinster was the worst disgrace which could befall a woman” (Everyday Life in Ancient Greece, pg. 82). However, it was seen as more of a disgrace on her father who ‘owned’ her until she was married. Although Athenian women were completely in charge of their household and slaves, they didn’t have much freedom. They rarely left the house, unless they were part of some sort of religious procession.
Women still don’t have as much power as men, are still “blamed” for wrong doings and thought as untrustworthy, and are still used as “currency” or are taken advantage off. Across the globe, women are starting to gain more political power and are able to have other jobs and rights, but this was only achieved recently, as women have always been second best. To start with, women were technically considered “slaves” or just above the standards of a slave. The main purpose of a woman was to cook, clean, raise a family, and to have sex or sometimes be raped, to please a mans needs. In Greece, they were seen as an object or property of a man, and were not given full rights, and in America, women were just given “all” rights not even fifty years ago.
A traditional Roman marriage is completely different than a traditional marriage in our culture today, essentially because of the significant change in the role of women over time. Because Roman women had hardly any rights, their role in marriage was extremely limited. Women in ancient Rome barely had any rights by law, so they had very few opportunities to live independently. Roman women were expected to marry at a young age, usually when they reached their teen years or early twenties. A Roman woman's subordination in marriage began even before she became engaged, as it was tradition for a woman's father, or legal guardian to arrange the marriage of their daughters.