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Classical Studies 3400E Lecture Notes - Sexual Penetration, Hubris

Classical Studies
Course Code
CS 3400E
Chris Piper

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This all has to do with the democratic ideology of Athens, and a certain image the
Athenians had of the male citizen and his body. The inviolability of the male citizen body
was what distinguished the citizen from metics or slaves. Citizens by law could not be
abused, tortured, or sold into slavery. Hubris or violence against a citizen therefore
becomes an anti-democratic crime, since assaulting the body of a citizen meant assaulting
the Athenian democratic body. A free citizen man who thus willingly subjects himself to
hubris/ sexual penetration for money or indiscriminately is letting his body be treated as
that of a woman or slave. Social and sexual roles are collapsed; sexual penetration =
social domination. Anyone who prostituted himself indicated his autonomy was for sale
— what danger might Athens herself be put in if such a man is in political control? He
might subject the city to foreign influence or corruption. Servility and greed were this
man's dominant features.
The law does not specifically say that being penetrated brings about
disenfranchisement; again it depends on the circumstances. Too, prostitution would not
be easy to prove (it would have to have a third party as accuser), and how to prove
submission for an agreed fee rather than submission out of gratitude or hero-worship
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