Equality Of Women In The Odyssey

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In various ways, women have made significant progress toward sexual equality over the past several centuries. Nevertheless, a considerable gap remains between the rights given to men and women in modern American society. Generally, American women can obtain a higher education and hold a powerful job; however, when dealing with politics, our ethics and morals surrounding “sexual equality” become unclear. Sadly, the majority of society continually places men high above women when it comes to looking toward a leader to execute decisions concerning the future of our country. Despite the thousands of years separating modern America from Ancient Greece, the essence of the treatment of women in regard to politics has not advanced nearly as much as…show more content…
Penelope in the Odyssey assumes a position of power while Odysseus is away from Ithaca fighting in the Trojan War. She defies the typical role of women by being in control. She is also extremely intelligent, and stands as a sign of hope for other women moving forward. Furthermore, Penelope stays loyal to Odysseus for the whole twenty years he is gone, while her husband has a passionate affair with Calypso (CITE). This detail again strengthens the idea that regarding women, men had little values regarding their treatment and they did not hold marriage in such a sanctity that it is now held. Another instance of male brashness is witness in the relationship between Telemachus and Penelope. Once matured, her son speaks harshly toward his mother declaring that “I cannot fault your anger at all this. My heart takes not of everything, feels it too, both the good that the bad—the boy you knew is gone” (XVIII.255-258). The most painful of these words arrives at the end when her son proclaims that the child she raised is not the same anymore. This marks his transition from boyhood to manhood: a transition in which the male perception of female inferiority grows stronger. A mother loves her son, and in modern times there are family disputes; however, they are mostly out of spite for parents in general, not out of misogynistic…show more content…
Agamemnon is one such leader who frequently parades his conquests about for the other kings. When confronted by one girl’s father he has “I will not let the girl go; before I do, old age will find her in my house in Argos, far from her fatherland, going back and forth at the loom and serving me in my bed”. (The Iliad I.29-31). Furthermore, he goes as far as denouncing his own wife and declaring his “desire to keep [the girl] in [his] house” and how he “prefer[s] her to Clytemnnestra [his] wedded wife” (The Iliad I.112-115). This gruesome treatment of women as nothing more than a paper towel you use and toss aside truly emphasizes how inferior they were to men. The powerful men do not think twice about disrespecting women and do not consider the feelings of their wives. These actions differ from our modern philosophical approach to women’s position in society in the sense that now it would be deemed repugnant to sleep with many women and parade your mistresses around town. Presently, our society’s morals prevent us from having the same style of relationships between Greek men and women, a relationship that resembles the one of master to slave in the
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