Friday, October 14, 2005

Is Socrates a Feminist?

Rebecca Bernstein
October 13, 2005
Response To Book 5
Feminism revolves around true equality. True equality is the idea that every single element in the lives of men and women are equal. Feminism ignores genetic differences and their biological consequence. Socrates has radical thoughts about the roles of women, and believes that they are, in most ways, equal to men. However, he also acknowledges a difference in the nature of men and women. Because of this acknowledgement his is not a feminist, according to the definition of feminism.
I think that the ideas that Socrates had about women are revolutionary for his time period. However, in Greece, women were taking roles equivalent to men such as warriors. He recognized the abilities of women in this area, and so, naturally proclaimed that they should be allowed to participate in the same activities as men. He saw that they were valuable in a certain way and wanted to use that for all it was worth. Although here he puts women on the same level as me he states in this section that women are inferior to men in all ways, including intellect. He must, therefore, believe that although women do have something to offer the city, they do not have “as much” to offer as men.
It is evident simply from my class that women and men are in many ways very similar. I feel as if I am on an equal level with the males in my class. However, sometimes being the only girl in math class is a challenge because I do not pick up on the mathematical concepts as quickly as some of the guys. On the other hand, I pay attention to details and am often grammatically correct. This is something I think a lot of the guys from the class lack. Although we are given an equal opportunity to excel because of our biological differences we stand out in different areas. I am also one of the only seniors not to take AP Physics. I took the other science class because I knew that I would be able to learn better and do better in a class that was based more on biology and less on mathematics. Although many women do excel in math it is a well-known fact that on the whole men do better in mathematics than women.
Although Socrates appears to be a feminist in the book because he states that women and men should be given the equal opportunity he also recognizes biological differences between men and women and considers women to be inferior to men. A true feminist wouldn’t recognize these differences. A true feminist believes that men and woman are perfectly capable of exactly the same things – regardless of their differences physically or biologically. Plato also categorizes people into groups rated on their intelligence and states that even the most intelligent women are less intelligent than the smartest men. He breaks up women into three categories, and he cannot really believe that all women are inferior to all men or else he wouldn’t create these classes. For example the guardian women are superior to men of the two other, lower classes, but they are inferior to most of the men of their own class (the Guardian class.) Overall, Socrates is not a feminist by the definition of feminism today. He may have been considered a feminist in his time period because of his ideas about equality between men and women. However, he was simply attempting to use all of the assets of all of the people in a society in order to maintain his perfect city. Because of his acknowledgment of women as innately inferior to men in intelligence he is not, by today’s standards, a feminist.


At 7:19 AM, Blogger Someone there said...

You are good!


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