Women's Role In Athenian Democracy

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With the growth of democracy in Athens, the standard of living grew exponentially. Even with the high quality of life for Athenians, some groups had limited rights. Athenian women were allotted few liberties, and slaves had even less rights. Daily life in Athens can be examined through the value of women in the household, the patriarchal society, and the value of slavery. Women’s status in Athens can be observed at the household level. Women were rarely allowed to go out in public, often sending slaves to do errands. They were also expected to go to private rooms if visitors came (Book, 74). The purpose of Athenian women was to bear children for their husband. The men seldom valued the opinions of their wives. Women were submissive to their husbands, and were legal property (Book, 74). If a woman did not have a husband, she was subjugated to another male family member (father, brother, husband’s brother, etc.) (Hamric). Household arrangement suggests much about the Athenian view of women. In the house, the man would sleep downstairs next to the door so that he could control access in and out of the house (Hamric). This shows that the…show more content…
Only male citizens could hold office or vote (Hamric). Due to the growth of democracy in Athens, women’s rights waned. Athenian women had no say in the government, where before the democracy they were “… prized for their shrewd advice on political and military matters…” (Book, 74). Since men valued their counterparts’ opinions more than their wives’, the men grew close to each other. As they could not find an intellectual relationship with women, many men turned to where they could receive this, homosexuality. This was apparent in hoplite warfare, where homosexual couples would often fight side by side, making the unit stronger because each man was fighting for the person next to them (Hamric). Society did not only relegate women to an unappreciated existence, but also

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