The political standing of women in Greece during the classical period was severely eroded, and women’s positions proved to diminish their importance in society. Notably, women in ancient Greece did not have the right to vote or own land. Similarly, the role of women in politics was undermined by social prejudices portraying women as inferior and incapable of addressing political issues. Furthermore, women were subjected to injustices at the hands of male power, and women were completely reliant on men in matters of politics. Women, without a doubt, play a crucial role in a country’s political structure, and incorporating women’s leadership is crucial. Equitable and participation of women in government and politics is profoundly essential in creating a sustainable democratic society.
Women and Resistance of Men Authority
The need for women to own property is highlighted in Aristophanes (assemblywomen play). Women wanted to acquire and own property rights like inheritance. The barrier that inhibited women from owning property drove debates among female characters which were aimed at realizing equality on the issues of property ownership. The role of women in influencing the men political life and power is evidenced in Aristophanes. Aristophanes does underline that woman in the Athens are in control of the government. Besides, the play highlights that the assemblywomen have the right to appoint reforms of communism along with banning the private wealth ownership. Moreover, sexual equality is also an important aspect that is evidence in the comedy and thus portray the fight between the female and the resistance against the male authority. Initially, female were oppressed by men and rape cases were rampant. Brutal cases such as rape did not entitle women to any form of justice in the judicial system. Sadly, these aspects demoralized many women in the society, and therefore, the fight against sexual oppression and the need for equality is a clear indication of female resistance. The old, unattractive women discriminatory nature in the government called for women to revolt and sought justice. Change in the men leadership proved to be the only hope that would bring an end to women injustices. Aristophanes indicates that “democracy (democratic) mean that the capacity to act to effect change that is laid with the public” (Aristophanes 5). Undoubtedly, Aristophanes is a magnificent political book that emphasizes the theme of women politics using societal humor. The central political concept in the comedy is based on women in government and communism who were previously thought to be illegitimate in political dimensions.
Lysistrata is a notable play which places women to be dominant political characters in society. The play depicts the increased role of women in politics and the battle of women in politics. Women in Lysistrata are seen trying to change the political system for it to benefit them. Contentions in this play center on the argument that men who are in power make decisions from a perspective that is limited for realizing equality (Lysistrata 28). Men in authority fail to listen to their wives and do not put into consideration the advice that their wives give them. According to Lysistrata the move driven at resisting the male political authority stems from the idea that the Athenian political system is corrupt and thus requiring a cleanup process. The cleanup can only be realized through changing the political rule by having women in power. Certainly, Lysistrata is a play that pivots itself on the need for democracy in the political system and elimination of corrupt injustices through change. Evidently, Aristophanes and Lysistrata portray corruption in an excessively male-dominated in politics. Undisputedly, this is the main threatening factors of Athenian political democracy. Lysistrata criticizes the Athenian politics that is currently evident in the city and says that “People mooching off the political system. These people have to be kicked out” (Lysistrata 574-586). She talks of “thorns of corrupt politicians” referring to the men who are unethical to politics. She also refers to the women leadership as “fine new cloak for the people” (Lysistrata 574-586). Lysistrata along with her counterpart women reason that women have the right of participating in politics. Additionally, women are competent and make viable contributions to the city like giving birth to warriors. Besides, the problem of women suffering when the city suffers highlights the idea of women male resistance in the play Lysistrata.
Women in power in politics increased to an extensive degree regarding kingship, and this stemmed from the despotic and dictatorial system maintained by a male in authority. Many wars that happened in the third century saw many women come into power. Wealth in the hands of the women fundamentally increased. The need to realize honor in the society is highlighted in Hippolytus. The significant conflict between women and authority is explained by the exclusion of women in the political matters. Many passages in the play refer to political equitability as a response to political needs of all the genders. Honor is one of the central theme evident in Hippolytus that primarily make women to desire political democracy. The unfair discrimination and the hold of power exclusively in the hands of men culminate into the rebellion of women (Hippolytus 36). Male control in politics has seen the development of imbalanced treatment of women and men. The accusations arising from the dishonor of women offends women causing shame of male politics and lack of honor on women is destructive.
Medea of Euripides is also a dramatic play which champions women in political leadership. The portrayal of women in the play testifies the resistance of women against the male rule. Euripides is a fascinating woman play that indicates the position of women in the political society and contradicts the Greek sex-gender system. Medea suggests the most sophisticated treatment of women gender contrary to the ancient Greek works of literature (Euripides 56). The opening lines of Medea paint a classical Greek chorus which eloquently exposes injustices that were done, women. Medea also does recognize the position of women and the crucial role that women play in politics. According to the play, the subordination of women men is a social order in Greek which functions to weaken the women endeavors to prosper in life. Athens is a city which prides itself in women dictatorship and oppression of women. Athens proved to perpetuate cruel sexism and designates the difficulties that befell women and hence resulted in resistance to male authority. Medea shows real women who have suffered and have their lives twisted under the male political authority. In addition, the call for female liberation through the emergence of new women leadership brings light to the end of the devastating treatments.
Women endured a greater degree of oppressions under the male authority and thus culminated into rebellion and resistance against their rule. The need for incorporating women in authority is well illustrated in the assemblywomen, Lysistrata, Hippolytus, and Medea. These masterpiece works of literature highlight the need for equality in the political system in need to attain democracy. Undoubtedly, the resistance saw the introduction of voting rights for women and reduction in women injustices. Women are equally competent, and they have the capability of delivering leadership in most desirable ways.
Aristophanes. Aristophanes. 1st ed., Cambridge, Mass. [U.A.], Harvard Univ. Press, 1996,.
Aristophanes. Lysistrata. 1st ed., Dinslaken, Anboco, 2016,.
Euripides. and Donald John Mastronarde. Medea. 1st ed., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013,.
Hippolytus, and G. J Cuming. Hippolytus. 1st ed., Bramcote, Notts, Grove Books, 1991,.