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What Were The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Women In Athenian Society?

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Introduction

What Were The Main Advantages And Disadvantages In The Position Of Citizen Women In Athenian Society? Explain Your Points The liberation of women was a major event of the 20th century and continues to be a hotly debated subject. So in this age where women are meant to have equal opportunities and rights, it can be difficult for many people to see any advantages of ancient Athenian women's positions in society. However, although undoubtedly Athenian women were nowhere near as fairly treated as today's women are, not all ancient Greek women had an agonisingly miserable life. This essay aims to show both the advantages and disadvantages of being a citizen woman in ancient Athens. ...read more.

Middle

The festival Thesmophoria that celebrated harvest and the sowing of the winter seeds was exclusive to women as Greeks saw the reproductive cycle of crops and humans as being linked. So as well as offering sacrifices to the gods for a good harvest, the women were also hoping that they themselves would bear sons the following year. A man could divorce his wife, without reason, at any time in ancient Athens. So why were there not more divorced wives returning home to their fathers? Because, unless the wife had been raped or adulterous, a dowry (paid by the father to the groom of the bride) would have to be returned in full. This meant that wives were protected against divorce by the dowry, as many husbands could not afford to repay it. ...read more.

Conclusion

They could not vote or go to assemblies and so their views were never voiced to politicians or the public. This meant that women did not have any form of say in the running of the state they lived in which is, of course, a disadvantage. Women's social lives were also limited. They were to remain in their house for most of the day and sometimes even confined to their rooms if the husband had male friend visiting. Women could visit other female friend's houses but even then had to be accompanied by at least one slave. Collecting water at the public fountain gave women the opportunity to talk and so this was a common place for the exchange of gossip. In conclusion, I think that although there were perks and advantages to living as a citizen woman the cons far outweigh the pros. By Adam Carter ...read more.

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