Mar. 25, 2013
Girls, Women and Sports
Greeks had medical view for construction for male identity…. They had one for female identity as well.
Female Physiology: difference between men and women, bare children. Men hot and dry or balance of
moist and dry, women were moisture then men… women ill in damp climate.. female body described as
being spongy in subsance
o Spongy, like wool. Wool soaked with lots of moisture. Women contain mostiure in the
body and became too hard pack. Spongy wool like became too packed and there wasn’t
enough moisture…natrual philosopher.. because women menstruate and excess of
blood, they are hotter than men. But because they lose blood, they are cooler?
- Hot or cool?
o The womb= an oven aristotle and galen.. medival medicine and concept of body…
women are mosit and cool
Regardless, women is imaged to be hot. To bake unborn child. A joking metaphor for us, it was relaity
for them. The social implication of this view of women’s bodies? Plato has few things to say about
women and role in society. He is unusal and starting with plato, his writing contrasts with the norms
accepted by most people.
Plato tho ypes of human beings and types of human beings.. physiological and immoral, some of the
nature being better than others, everyone had a part to play. Chief cause of goodness is in principal
emboided… (slide) contribute to exceelence of the state.. own task. The task of womne as plato saw it…
women like men take up leadership in his republic. In order to take up leadership, women needed to be
educated just like men.
Female guardian (plato’s republic slide)… ridiculed… exercise alongside of men. Indicates to us that plato
recognize idea of women exercise is paradox. Doenst make sense.. plato not advocating emancipation of
women… he didn’t want emancipation in women… reason he wanted women to be equal participants is
because republic was a organizsm.. canging family structure and social structure about an ideal state.
You hcange of role of women… creating new role of women in his state. But recognized this is strange
and paradoxical to the greek norms.
Plato (slide cont’d) each existsnce, bringign godo to the tate, you have to take private interests…
nomarriage and no family… children rase communally..and adult bare children with whomever thes
ewomen common to all men and non cohabit privately… children common and no parents know the
child of the parent* provke more distrust to the possibiltiy and utility. There is no debate and denial of
community… greatest good.. if its possible.
This is not free love.. he is trying to say. We said how he advocated warfare training.. it’s a regulated and
strict statebut abolihement of family structure was condition that made women exercise in sprots
possible. Before getting to spartan, greek norms in general,
Greek norms emphasized:
- Family structure center of society, formed and based on family and clan. Within family and
domestic life, there were specific gender roles. Expectation of free man was that he would work
in agriculture and business doing it himself or over a slave. Women part of econoimc effor itn
the household. If family was poor, women worked alongside. This is common with a lot of most
of living in the world today.. everyone contributes to keep the family going. Women thus work
alongside. If greek family slightly better off, women worked in more specialized occupation. The
occuptation of women in all status was the handling of secondary stage of produciton. Raw
materials to commodty* textile production** while husbands- brother-father--- all out in the
field, once wool collected, women andled production and textile into cloth. Herodotus gives clue
to egtptian and gender occupation (slide). Draws attention to contrast indicates mprotance of
women working at textile production in the greek household. This duty of working cloth and
wool is attirbted to archaic period and classical period. Imagery onwards… weaving testile for his
retunr… poet hesiod descirbes gods creating first women (works and day) (slide). Analogy for
womb… gave birth to all evil who came to humanity. Punishment.. women producing children in
it of itself is evil to humanity. In order to men accept pandora, gods make her look nice and skills
and attribtes making her fit into huamn society. Hephaestus makes her… (immobile) not
functioning being yet. And told her Athena makes her… and aphrodites gave her physical
atttribtes…. There are many vase painting (slid,e) women doing work. Women with finished
cloth… women spinning. Spindal in the bottom of strand pulling… fibers of wool and stretches
them out. Bundle of wool held up high. Another women is winding raw wool~~~ we have
women working a lume.. these mterials of loom working and textile materials in the domestic
setting and spindles. Arahceological trackwomen around different commnities. Hole poke
through the yarn and treated like heirlooms. Passed down geneartions. And able to track
loomweights around communities. It was done communally or women beloningg to household..
wealthier women and servants helping out.
- Women’s work
Greek men who wrote these stuff about women, egnerally viewsd women work to be indoor. Men
outside and women inside working with cloth.
Aristotle had to say about women Not positive because not trying to create radical state but catalogue
of exitsnece as it was (slide) talks about women being softer and morally impulsive misheicvious and
attaineted to taking care of children. Women being more cunning than men, emotional, prone to
melancholoy. Moisture cold nature (mood more depressed) less bracve and eats less. Free rules of slave
and male rules fmeale… (slid,e)not only do men women chidlren have different boyies but also the
souls* in greek world, its less clairifed. Men more brave than women.. chattering and hosuehold fnction
of men and women is different. Men get women keep***
Xen had to talk about women… relfect of greek norms. Stay in household. Home required for bearing
chidren making cothing from wool. Since indoor and outdoor requires… geneders accordingly. Men go
outside because soul better endures cold and the outside.. workign in military where women… cold
moist boyd need suitable indorr taking children and making cloth. In moral sense, women better equip
in soul and morality to defend and work inside and guard what's inside the house. This is a great
summary of major thinking of womne’s nature an role in greek soceity. BUT these views were not too
fixed possible for plato’s phiosophy to extist. Important thing to note, part of radical notion of women aking responsibility. Engage in activities belong
to other men. Psorts and gymnasium. As mentioned, there is one society quiet different in others
respect of family strucutre and women. This different gave room in society be more invovled in
athelteics. Good evidence of women political authority and public activites (choral and ritual
performances) this is of course sparta
Xen (slid,e) spartans basing their didea of best soceity of law like lycurgus thought idfferently. Lycrugus
saw having slave population gave enough workers textile industyr. They had slaves todo that for them.
Since helts excisted free up spartan men, likewise, freeup spartan women to train for other htings.
Spartan women did *physical …. And children.
Keep quiet and to wool work… women brought up with childrne… lycurgus of labor of slave women was
to supply clothing. Believed motherhood was improtnact functio nof freeborn women* he insisted in
physical training no less than male… moreover graces and tirl of strength as men. Believing both parents
vigorous offspring. Worht noting that while spartan enocurage women to exercise… also open to
alternatve structure… more vigorous children. A practice among spartan…. Other men’s wife.. if thought
it gives better children. A rather differetn understanding of family strcurue and materinity.
Itsno t far as plato’s republic that abolishing marriage al otghete but notion that spartan man… perhaps
younger and stronger… he might encourage sleep with that men in order to produce stronger children.
Older husband… encourage to sleep with younger man… -_-
Xen was pro-spartan athenian. 4th C but eariler during 5th C, athenians used behaviour of spartan
women as part of anti-spartan propaganda.. steoretpying and in order to do this they focused on
atheletic of spartan women
Euripides (slide) picking up on this idea that sparan girls not only exercise themselves but challenged the
boys to races and wreslting and dress was not terribly modest normal greek conception and sometimes
compeltely nude (slide) group of older women talking to lycurus. Spartan women more authority in the
social strucutre and collabotaitng with lycurgus.
The intention of non-spartan women was generally on the fact women strips down while doing sports.
Ani-spartan slogan picks up on female nudity as imodesty.* visual eience and lack of costume in their
contest… most comes as little bronze statue (in olympia dedicated in the heria festival)
(slide) depict young girl in nude… and depict older girls.. they have short dress enabling them to run.
Generally covered one of the brest and exposed right breast. Porbable got plato idea women exercise
in sparta. He comments on the beauty of ahtletes. Attractive of naked ahtneltes…
Plato adres question of beauty in female atheltes (slide) akward and entertainiing… beautyf and
atrractivness was connntected with spots.and participants were not attractive young men… but clue
jhere that old men comepted and exercised as gym .. but not ugyl (th