Eve Browning Cole's Women Slaves and Love of Toil
Cole's article is not to attack Aristotle on his views of where a woman should be placed within the social and political order, in accordance to the Classic Greek period. Her intrigue is within "surveying some central values of that particular social and political institution," (Sterba 79). At first she begins with Aristotle's view on gender and class in ethics. Making a definite point among the social/political class, ancient Greek women and slaves were only allowed their male citizens to think for them. Being dependent on men silences the women and slaves without a voice to speak out, for the women work while the men socialize with others, the men assume that the women do not need a voice. According to Aristotle, even a woman's virtue is to be subservient to all males. As a part of common life the woman is considered the pack horse and the mother to raise the children, for the men. With all the work that women put into their specific households, some education and training would mature from the experience. It was thought again by Aristotle within; Deliberation, Education, and Emancipation, that woman did not possess the aptitude for practical reasoning. For whomever possessed practical reasoning carried with them authority on their decisions and the action pending. From these three classic Greek examples of how women were considered mentally and treated physically, the author Cole provides a progressive outlook of how women could have gained social and political power in a society of male dominant figures.
In Cole's discussion of Aristotle's beliefs of gender and class of free and non free citizens, she is emphasizing those men posses practical reasoning. In having these virtues, males are allowed to make any and all decisions for his slaves, wives, and children, because it was said none of them have the ability to make choices themselves, so Aristotle thought. He remains stubborn in the notion that classic Greek males did these acts because the pressure of excellence. "The well-being of the state depends on their achieving their own specific excellence, but that excellence or virtue is defined in relation to the male who direct them and whose interests they serve," (Sterba 80). I think Aristotle to be correct, because of certain kinds of social pressures, you are only to serve the culture to which you honor traditions.