As the millenniums pass and years go by, the world continues to evolve each day. Across the world, in every society, men and women have specific roles that they carry out. During ancient times, in most cultures, women were inferior to men.
This is still true in many countries today. It has taken American women many centuries to have gained the rights and privileges they have today. Women have made many immense achievements, fought for their rights and stood up for what they believed in during the past century. It is very important to understand the role of women in history because they have played an imperative part of how each society functioned. In Classical Athens, women and men were citizens however men were superior to the women. Men, in the Ancient Greek times thought of themselves as balanced, rational and secure human beings. They viewed women as irrational, hysterical, and unstable.
Even though women were inferior to men in Classical Athens, they played an essential role in the Athenians everyday life. In Athens, both women and men were citizens. However women did not have the same rights and privileges as the men did.
Men went to school while the women had no formal education and stayed home until they were married. The teenage boys went to school until they were about nineteen, and the teenage girls were married around fourteen or fifteen years old. The boys were taught educational material while the young girls job was to help their mothers around the house. The men were authoritative over the women. If a woman went out of her home, she had to be accompanied by a male guardian.
Women were unable to own land property. They were only allowed to own small personal possessions. Women were not allowed to voice their opinions about public issues.
Men were the only ones who could participate in political events. Women were only permitted to participate in festivals, religious events, weddings, and funerals. Women were given free time in which they were permitted to go visit a female friend only for a short period of time. All females were also not permitted to watch the Olympic Games because the contestants did not wear cloths. Chariot Racing was the only event that women were allowed to compete in. However, this was very rare because they had to own a horse.
The only way women were able to attain any sort of power is when they became the wife of a prominent man. Women were socially inferior to men. Even though women did not have a lot of social rights, they had two very important roles. They were to run the house and reproduce children. Even Euripides, a well known Greek playwright, stated , Women run households and protect within their homes, and without a woman no home is clean or prosperous (Neils 78). This shows that women were the ones who controlled the home. The wives would maintain the house and perform chores such as weaving, baking and cooking, cleaning, and fetching water.
The womens daily roles were simplified if they house had slaves. If there were slaves, they would do all of the chores and the wife would supervise and make sure that everything was completed. Since the daughters did not go to school, it was the mothers responsibility to teach her daughter her how to read and write. Only in the poorest households was a wife expected to carry out all of the chores because they were unable to have slaves.
Women spent most of their days in the courtyard of the house. They would sit in the shade because a pale complexion was ideal for female beauty. The Greek women would wear perfume that was made by boiling flowers and herbs. The women also kept themselves well groomed.
They would do their hair down, in braids, up in a bun, or in a ponytail. They would use scented waxes and lotions to hold their hair in place. The two most commonly worn garments by women were a tunic and a cloak. Women and their slaves would make these garments out of wool. If they were wealthy they would buy them in the market, in which these expensive cloaks were decorated with elaborate woven figures and designs.
Since men spent most of their time away from home, Greek women dominated the house. Even though they did not merely have as many privileges as the men, they still had important significant roles for that time period. Men may have viewed them with a lesser value, but with out them, the Greek families and houses would have never survived. They brought a sense of love and kindness to their families, and made sure the house was kept properly. Even though their rights were limited, they were not neglected or treated harshly by their husbands.
However, people today might view their living status and rights as neglected. These women were hard workers, raised their children with good morals, and maintained proper upkeep of their homes all in a days work. They deserve more credit then they had received back then.