Women's Roles In Ancient Greece

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“Of all creatures who live and have intelligence, we women are the most miserable,” a woman from ancient Greece claimed. Greek women of this time were viewed as property, housekeepers, and slaves. They endured lives restrained by ludicrous double standards, which played out in their marriages, in how they were perceived by men, and in their role as mothers.
In ancient Greece, it was common for a woman to be married by the time she was 14-18 years old. Her husband would usually be at least a decade older and someone she had not met. There was no getting out of the situation, though. “…women were disgraced if […] they tried to legally separate from their husbands,” (“Ancient”). So, for better or worse, this was her life now. As a wife, she would
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Men believed women were evil beings. In a lost play, one of the characters says, “O Zeus, why need one say evil of women in detail? It would be enough if you say merely women.” (Cite this) Men called women evil, but women mostly focused on raising children and taking care of the home. They were generally peaceful. In fact, an unknown Greek poet once said, “silence is a woman’s glory,” (Lefkowitz and Fant 65). Though men called women evil, men were the ones who went to battle and killed people left and right. They were the ones who often forced their wives to leave their newborn babies to die if they were deformed or female. They were the ones who divorced their wives if they could not have children at all. They were also the ones who cut women off from the world outside of their homes, believing women were extremely sexual beings who needed to be contained. Ironically, it was these same men who liked to depict dancers and prostitutes on pottery, committed adultery at their leisure, and hired…show more content…
They had to raise their children, and were shamed if they did not; but men could get away with hardly contributing. Deineira says, “We had children which he sees from time to time, like a farmer who has a remote field, who sees it only at sowing time and at harvest,” (Lefkowitz and Fant 17). In this exerpt, she is describing her husband’s contributions as a father. She is comparing her husband to a farmer with a remote field because the farmer does not tend to his field often, just as her husband does not tend to his children often. Like the farmer, he was only there to help create life and to receive the final product. Women sometimes endured double standards when they became mothers without their consent. A fragment of a lost tragedy sheds light on rape culture. “Tyro was abducted by Posiedon and became the mother of twin sons. Her father blamed her for her pregnancy, and her stepmother Sidero brutally mistreated her,” (Lefkowitz and Fant 18). Tyro was an innocent woman raped by Poseidon. Her stepmother ended up punishing her by cutting off her beautiful hair. Poseidon received no punishment, even though he was to
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