Essay Homer's Women: Empowerment from an Unlikely Feminist

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Women have always been treated unfairly in society. Even in the modern era, women have just begun to receive their rights, many of which their male counterparts received long before. Women have their unique history and when looking back and learning of the histories behind people, including the background on women, the first place historians look are written works. Greek society is no different since much is known about it through Greek literature, such as the epics the Iliad and the Odyssey. However, Greece is known to have been no different from other societies of its time in regards to women. While works such as the Odyssey by Homer create powerful Greek women figures, they do not reflect the typical views or treatment of women during …show more content…
With their primary job at home to be a child-bearer and caretaker, they performed other tasks as well, including cooking, cleaning, and weaving. Some women were allowed out of their household and to socialize, however, only with the permission of their husband and if their husband was already well-known and respected; women could only have respect in society if the men related to her already earned that respect. (Cho 5-6) Excluding those exceptions, women were placed so low socially that they held no political rights, while even slaves were given a few. Economically, a woman could not do anything, whether it was inheriting her parent’s property or even going shopping. (“Ancient Greece…” 1-2) Put succinctly by Anna Cho of Pace University, “the social life of women in ancient Greece often mirrored the submissive female image” (Cho 4). Homer’s portrayal of women, however, differs completely, with even the usual household tasks of women mentioned above becoming a symbol of female power.
Throughout the Odyssey, women repeat certain actions; though seemingly harmless, these acts are actually examples of where women are exuding their power and influence over men. Take for instance, the woven goods many key women in the story are creating or handling; though they seem as nothing more than part of a female’s household duties, a woman’s ability to weave actually symbolizes her cunning and

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