The Discrimination of Women in Apuleius’s The Golden Ass
According to Merriam-Webster, “gender inequality, or in other words, gender discrimination refers to unfair rights between male and female based on different gender roles which leads to unequal treatment in life.” The term gender inequality has been a big problem in human history as it was in ancient Rome. In Apuleius’s, The Golden Ass, there are specific examples and sets of imagery that show how women were discriminated against in Ancient Rome.The purpose of this paper is to examine the concept gender discrimination towards women in The Golden Ass, paying attention to how witchcraft is used to do so, and how this is a reflection of Roman culture.
One of the many ways that women are discriminated against in the text, is shown through witchcraft and sorcery. Witchcraft in The Golden Ass is the only source of power that women have over men. Women that are powerful and intelligent are portrayed as evil because they are viewed to only use their abilities in a purely cruel manner. However, that is not always the case, in the story of Socrates he tells the tale of a woman named Meroe who tricks men into getting in bed with her using witchcraft. Meroe turned one of her unfaithful lovers into a beaver, hoping that he would bite off his own testicle when being hunted. This shows Meroe as a villain perpetrator and pity is raised for the “unlucky” man who was unfaithful in the first place and had an affair with another