Essay on Gender Roles in Classical Greece

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Gender Roles in Classical Greece Missing Works Cited In Classical Greece, roles played by males and females in society were well-defined as well as very distinct from each other. Expectations to uphold these societal norms were strong, as a breakdown within the system could destroy the success of the oikos (the household) and the male’s reputation—two of the most important facets of Athenian life. The key to a thriving oikos and an unblemished reputation was a good wife who would efficiently and profitably run the household. It was the male’s role, however, to ensure excellent household management by molding a young woman into a good wife. Women were expected to enter the marriage as a symbolically empty vessel; in other words, a…show more content…
This practice of sheltering girls probably stemmed from the male view that females are easily influenced and corrupted by forces in the outside world. This belief is exhibited in cases of adultery that nearly always fault the man as the seducer and treat the woman as a non-agent. (It is interesting to note that the Greek word for adulterer, moichos, is solely male). In On the Killing of Eratosthenes the Seducer, Euphiletus explains to the jury why the law allows for the seducer in adultery cases to be punished by death: His idea was that those who use force are loathed by the persons violated, whereas those who have got their way by persuasion corrupt women’s minds, in such a way as to make other men’s wives more attached to themselves than to their husbands . . . (The Murder of Herodes, p. 49). Like children, young women were believed to lack strength of mind and could, therefore, be easily won over. Fearing that females would be unable to ward off vices in the surrounding world, males felt it necessary to keep them contained indoors, protected by the household, so as not to leave them vulnerable to corruption. In much the same way that a woman was not held responsible for acts of adultery,
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