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Discuss gender and family roles in Ancient Greece. How do these roles compare to modern American...

Discuss gender and family roles in Ancient Greece. How do these roles compare to modern American ideas? How are they different? What were the advantages and weaknesses of the Greek system? (Subject: Western Civilization)

Homework Answers

Answer #1
  • Throughout history, the roles of women and men have always differed to some degree. In ancient Greece, the traditional roles were clear-cut and defined. Women stayed home to care for children and do housework while men left to work.
  • This system of society was not too far off the hunter gatherer concept where women cared for the house and the men hunted. Intriguingly enough, despite the customary submissive role, women had a more multifaceted role and image in society as juxtaposed with the rather simple role men played. Morals for the two were also different. Men obviously had the upper hand with women being the traditional passive.
  • Women were considered naturally submissive as in most other old cultures. This is somewhat understandable as women were the ones who bore children and men provided for the family unit.
  • Women didn't really have any rights. The men had all the power over them. In fact, this system is called a patriarchy, when the father of the oldest male figure is the head of the household. Women were not even allowed to eat and sleep in the same room with men.Rich women often had to take care of their slaves as well as their own children and the household chores.
  • In the ancient Greece job, specialization was very adored and in this case men had to carry specific tasks and women had their specific jobs to undertake. For example, the males in the individual undertook activities such as politics, military, and law and women were to stay in the house and undertake the house chores.
  • According to Jae-Hewan Joo 2016, the stability of the family was the major role of the men in the society. To achieve this, very man had to teach his wife to take care of the properties in the house as they worked in the farm or at the businesses for the high officials. At a young age, men were educated to learn their future careers and women stayed at home with their mothers where they learned how it cook and do some other house chores. During the Olympic Games, only men were allowed to participate and women had their games in the honor of Goddess Hera.
  • Considering the modern America, gender roles have drastically changed from a single income generator in the family to a dual income generator, where both spouses contribute to the income generation of the family. In addition, women education and empowerment has dictated the current trends of gender roles in the United States. Unlike the ancient Greece, many women in America are educated and in many families, the income generators are both spouses as both of them work outside their home. Thus will automatically mean that there is no job specialization for a man and a woman in the society.
  • Drawing a comparison therefore, the Greek tradition disadvantaged the female in the society and at the same time, it overburdened the males in the society who were left with all the hard tasks of making that the families were up to standards.
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