Essay The Treatment of Women of Ancient Babylon

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Some aspects of the lifestyle ancient civilizations lived almost seem appalling or intolerable when compared to the very developed and carefully shaped the world inhabited today. One of these characteristics of previous societies that prove to be rather challenging to conceive in current times consists of the lack of rights, privileges, and equity women had. Society maintained this assumption of a man’s superiority up until the women’s rights movement of the early twentieth century; yet with the two sexes essentially equal in America today, imagining a restricted life as a female proves unfathomable. Looking back at the history of human kind, men almost always subdued women and treated them as property. When focusing on the first …show more content…

A man had a decision to spare his wife in these particular circumstances as if she was an unruly pet or piece of property. Therefore, one infers that life for women in Babylon contained a constant need to assure a clean reputation and loyalty to the husband. While penalties for adultery appear very serious and severe, divorce seems to be a common occurrence in Babylon and punishments for incorrect divorce procedures mostly result in a fine. In addition to a man’s control over a woman’s sexuality, men held the power to divorce their wives for almost any reason in particular while the law required women to provide a sufficient reason to initiate divorce. For example, a man could divorce his wife simply for her inability to produce children. “If a seignior wishes to divorce his wife who did not bear him children, he shall give her money to the full amount of her marriage-price... and then he may divorce her” (Hammurabi). Women on the other hand, encountered many obstacles when attempting to divorce their spouses. “if a seignior’s wife, who was living in the house of the seignior, has made up her mind to leave in order that she may engage in business, thus neglecting her house…they shall prove it against her” (Hammurabi). For women, marriage consisted of a binding contract that included expectations of fertility, responsibility for the household, and compliance. These expectations of women dominated

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