Gender Roles Of Civic Duties And Raising Children

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Throughout Vibia Perpetua’s life, Roman society expected her to follow structured gender roles of civic duties and raising children in her community because she was female. Perpetua defied the expectations placed upon her since birth by converting to Christianity and used the freedom of the Christian religion to show her independence and create her own role as a woman. This essay will analyze Perpetua 's defiance of the gender expectations of civic hood and motherhood of the Roman community, and how the Christian community allowed her to define her own identity as a woman on her own terms in conflicting societies.
In Perpetua’s time, the role of a woman within the Roman culture was determined narrowly against gendered expectations. Early Roman society families had a patriarchal structure meaning the father was the head of the family. The strongest tie within the family was that between a father and a daughter. Daughters were expected to “[forge] political and social ties” for fathers (Salisbury 6). A Roman daughter was favored the most; they received the best education overseen by their fathers. The purpose of a strong education was “to pass on to their sons the values of Rome” as well as help her to be a good mother in the future (Salisbury 7). One expectation of a woman in the Roman culture was reproduction in order to continue lineage. In addition to structured family and social rules, Roman women joined cults with specific rituals for females to perform. A woman’s role

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