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Aristotle's argument that women are subsidiary to men - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Aristotle's Argument In the ancient world, it was a common belief that men and women were created in different ways so that they could fulfil the diverse needs of their societies. While this may have been the case, many ancient scholars had varying opinions concerning the differences between these sexes, and among the most outspoken in this subject was Aristotle…
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Aristotles argument that women are subsidiary to men
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Aristotle's argument that women are subsidiary to men

Aristotle, despite his appreciation of some attributes of women, including their intelligence, he was of the opinion that that they were subsidiary to men and because of this they had to submit themselves to men in their lives since women are “more mischievous, less simple, more impulsive... more compassionate” (Aristotle 28). Aristotle justified his opinion by actively supporting those laws that denied women the right to own property, and if they got married, with the said property it should be transferred to their husbands on such an occasion. Considering that he also believed that women had to stay only in female quarters of the household, except during extreme need, shows his belief that women had to be contained, which in essence was similar to enslaving them. Aristotle was an extremely prominent scholar of the ancient world and he had a lot to say concerning women and their subservience to men. While his writings seem to indicate that he was exceedingly liberal about the roles of the various sexes in many aspects of life, it is a fact that he was a believer in the inferiority of women to men (Francis 144). Despite the fact that he may have seemed to be a liberal in some matters concerning the sexes, Aristotle, being true to his era, had some positive things to say concerning women, but while he did so, he also showed that he still believed them to be subservient. It is possible that perhaps Aristotle’s teachings, which might be considered liberal, would have had a deeper meaning, displaying that while women were a gifted lot, they were supposed to remain in the background, since that was their designated place in society. This scholar was known, from time to time, to deviate from the norm concerning the role of the sexes in his society. Aristotle’s writings, while being conservative in nature, display a characteristic that was particularly common among the writers of that age; they were liberal to a certain extent and their opinions were openly stated. However, when it came to undertaking something to change their societies so that they would conform to their liberal views, they took no action. Therefore, it can be said that although Aristotle in his writings displayed several instances of being liberal concerning the roles of the sexes in the society, most of his comments concerning this issue remained conservative “….the courage of a man is shown in commanding, of a woman in obeying.” He continued to advocate for a male dominated society, supporting the role of a subservient woman, who had to submit to the will of man (Klosko 163). In a majority of his works, Aristotle displays respect for the competence of women, which is truly surprising for a man of the ancient world, where women were considered nothing more that bearers of children. Most of his works about women are based on the influence of his societal, physical and mental opinion of them. In some of his work, he states that women are much more emotional because of the belief in the ancient world that women are particularly closely tied to the earth than men. Aristotle in general shows a strong admiration for women, and he states that they are more gifted than their male counterparts. Alongside this admiration is also his belief that women are ... Read More
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