Roles of Women in Ancient Athens Similar to Roles of Women Today

616 WordsJan 25, 20183 Pages
Women in ancient Athens had roles in society that in some ways are similar to the roles and expectations of women in our culture today. They had more rights than many women of their time, but their freedoms were still limited. Women of Athens accepted their role however, unlike women today who are much more outspoken. While this was the norm back then, much of it would never be deemed acceptable now. Women in Athens had no political rights whatsoever. Politics were entirely in the hands of free men. In fact, even slaves had more rights than women at this time. Women couldn’t inherit property, nor could they appear in court as jurors. Women didn’t have the opportunity to commit most crimes, as they were not allowed to participate in public life. Instead, they were expected to stay home and take care of the house. All women had to have a male guardian. When she was a girl, she was under the protection and care of her father. Around the ages of fourteen or fifteen, her father would arrange for her to be married, often to man twice her age. She would then be in the custody of her husband. She was referred to as a bride until she had her first child. Then she was considered a woman. Family law was always handled by the woman’s male guardian. Ancient Athenian women did not participate in public life. When they did leave the house, they were expected to be inconspicuous, covering most of their faces and necks, a social expectation resembling one we have for women in our culture

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