Lecture#13-Men and women.docx

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12 Mar 2012
Lecture#13-Men and women
Qualities of Pandora
o One of the qualities we talked about was deception
o She looked beautiful on the outsidebut from the inside she was deceitful
o From: Pandora onWe can no longer judge a woman based on her appearance
The relationship between appearance and interior
o Men spent most of their time doing politics, wars, etc… which took place
o In our reading, Xenophon is very suspicious of craftsman jobs (craftsman have to
sit inside all day) and b/c you have to sit inside all the time at the cobbler’s table,
it makes ruins your body and become feminine.
o Morally and socially good to be a farmer, be outdoors.
o Have a wife to be inside (inside the woman’s quarters as well)
The Ancient Greek’s houses were organized around the central courtyard where there
are streets going into court yard. There were men’s rooms (symposium, public place)
and inside the courtyard, there were things like household activities.
o One speaker in 4th centurysaid he was assaulted on the street and came into
his house and saw his nieces who had never seen a man before.
The ideal was that respectable women would not be seen and known by
name by any man whom she was not related to.
o One exception to this was religion: women did participate in the religion of the
city and go outside for religious festivals. (a lot of anxiety around this)
Division of space between interior and exterior individual but also interior/exterior on
the outside
o Upper class only had this division b/c in the farm, you need the wife to help out
in shopping, harvest, etc…SO cannot just have her inside the house
o This practice is limited by economic constraints.
o Euripides’ mother was a vegetable seller in the marketplace.
This ideal (more so than reality) is in Pandora as well. (Women’s interior is mysterious
and is not public. They are different than men, have their own space, and reinforces
genetic separation)
Even the idea of women as a separate race is enforced by this. B/c women spent all their
time inside, their skin would be pale.
PALE skin showed that a woman was a virtuous and RESPECTFUL man. (this explains the
color of men’s skin and women’s on vases) (red for the former and white for the latter
b/c of sun)
OIKOS (family or household)
Multiple generations living together. Slaves would be there as well. Farmland around
would be included within the OIKOS. It was a small estate.
Men married at 35 and wanted to establish their careers. By 35, the assumption was
that the father had passed away, and you can start your own OIKOS
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The girls were very young and just after puberty.
o Why would men want to marry her at 15? b/c you want MORE children with her.
Go right to the last minute.
o Infant mortality was a problem and therefore if you want an heir, you have to
maximize your chances.
o OIKOS would be divided by distant relatives
o They would still be virgins…No chance of sleeping with someone else (not
damaged goods)
o Reinforced the male domination over women. (man over girl control)
o The man can mold the girl into anything that he wishes. (Blank slate for girl)
In works and days by Hesiod, Marry a girl when men are 30. “Marry a virgin so that you
can teach her good ways”
Eskminicus says that his wife wasn’t even 15 when he married her so that he can
domesticate her. You get the idea that women were wild beasts before being married.
o It’s the husband’s fault if the wife turns out useless
Xenophon blames it on the man’s training of the wife if she turns out bad
NOMO of the OIKO (custom and rules of household) Turns this practical study of
home economics or state management into a topic of philosophy
Conversation between Socrates and Critoboulos (Kalos KagathosHe is a gentleman)
Socrates shows that despite the excellent reputation, he shows that Critoboulos does
not know the real meaning of Kalos kagathos.
o Socrates gives Crito the truth to Kalos Kagathos through example of
The rest of the dialogue shows Socrates having a conversation with Ischomachus in the
Home economics might seem to be a strange topic but as Xenophon presents it as an
ethical matter. How you use a property determines what and who you are
o DO you save for children? Are you the kind of man who squanders money on
booze and whores?
o How you manage your OIKOS reveals the STATE OF YOUR SOUL:
is Kalos kagathos (outside reflects inside)
Marital relations reveal your soul. THE QUALITY OF YOUR WIFE reflected on you as a
o If your woman partied all the time, then it reveals you as a man. That means you
are not orderly with your family
o Discipline of your wife
o E.g. today’s politicians do it by having their wives present themselves beside
them all the time
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