Women in Classical Athens vs. Women in America

Topics: Ancient Greece, Athens, Aristotle Pages: 3 (899 words) Published: April 26, 2007
Women in Classical Athens vs. Women in America
Women in classical Athens, according to many of the accounts of women's position in the Greek city-state, lived a life of domestic slavery. Men controlled politics and societal influence in the public setting, so the lives of women were no different from foreigners or slaves who also had no civil rights. The lives of women in classical Athens greatly contrasts the lives of women in America today; however both share similar family obligations. While the obvious differences are that women didn't hold political office, didn't own property, and women didn't work outside the home, similar to women in America today, women were the primary caretakers of the home. In classical Athens, women did not hold political office. In fact, women were not even allowed to vote. This is dramatically different from women's roles in politics in America today. Women in America haven't always had the right to vote. For years women fought for the right to be considered equal. Even though we still struggle with the equality of women holding political office (we have yet to see a female president in this country), numerous women do hold political positions and are allowed to vote. Women attend and also participate in political events and debates; and furthermore, women today are sent as ambassadors to other countries to represent the people of America. As second class citizens, women in Athens were greatly limited in their freedom. This limitation of freedom didn't stop with just politics; it extended to personal freedoms as well, limiting their freedom to choose a husband, own property, and even keep the children they bore. From childhood, girls were raised to understand their role as "breeders" of new citizens for the continuation of Athenian society. Since Athenian society was exclusive, not allowing foreigners to have the same privileges as Athenians, the role of women to produce good heirs was an important one. Therefore women were...
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