Plato A Feminist Analysis

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Was Plato a Feminist?
Plato was one of the only few philosophers from the ancient Greeks who believes the modern feminists’ view of men and women being equal in the society. Throughout the history, many people consider him as “the first feminist” and use his writings and dialogues as the support for the feminist movement. Plato asserts his belief in Book V of the Republic that jobs and responsibilities should be distributed by the person’s nature instead of neither the gender nor the appearance in an ideal state. The main argument of his belief is very similar to what feminist movements are proposing, which that the gender and biological differences should not determine the role of women in the society. To be more specific, Plato wrote that
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The nature that people possesses should not be dictated by the society and their gender, but by their soul that they are borne with. He continues in the Republic and wrote that “if it appears that they differ only in this respect that the female bears and the male begets, we shall say that no proof has yet been produced that the woman differs from the man for our purposes, but we shall continue to think that our guardians and their wives ought to follow the same pursuits” (454e), proving that there is no significant difference between men and women that could exclude women from governing and occupations that used to be male…show more content…
In the Timaeus dialogue, he writes that “of the men who came into the world, those who were cowards or led unrighteous lives may with reason be supposed to have changed into the nature of women in the second generation” (Timaeus 91), saying that the soul will be separated from the body after death and continue to exist, and women body is where those corrupted souls reincarnated. Many Plato scholars or feminist who try to use Plato’s philosophy as their support, and they tried to defend this particular myth in the Timaeus by saying that the Republic’s philosophy was what Plato truly believed, not the other dialogues. However, Feminist scholar Christine Garside Allen in her chapter “Plato on Women” counter this defense with the fact that although some aspects of the myth could be dismissed, it is still undeniable that Plato clearly believes that women are an inferior kind of incarnation
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