Platos views on women

Plato and Socrates View of Womens Roles In studying Greek philosophy, one particular remains consistent. When referring to an ideal person, be it a citizen, a political leader, a philosopher, or a soldier, a man is used for the model. And the aspiration of all men, virtue, is derived from the root for man, “vir.” These examples alone would lead the attentive observer to ask, “what about the women?” Traditionally, Greek life in general was not in tune with the rights of women. Many philosophers, such as Aristotle, were particularly opposed to women having any sort of role in society outside of child bearing. Plato and Socrates, however, where pioneers in pushing for equality of qualified women to play a pivotal role in politics and philosophy. In Platos Republic, Socrates argues that women are as capable as men in pursuit of their endeavors, and he puts these observations into consideration in Book V. The Republic, Book V initiates the discussion of the inclusion of women in Platos “guardian class.” Right away the debate is raised as to what capacity a female could fill in the “guardian class.” Glaucon implies that the admission of women to any office violates Platos principle of the division of labor. Socrates refutes this opinion sharply when he states “that division of labor must be made by aptitude and ability, not by sex; if a woman shows herself to be capable of political administration, let her rule.” In other words, if it is a womans destined role to lead, then she must be presented the opportunity. If a woman shows herself able to guide a society and a man shows himself only capable of washing dishes, let the woman rule and the man clean the plates. “Socrates is willing to accept the fact that, generally speaking, women are inferior to men with respect to the best pursuits, but does not feel that this precludes the possibility that some women are better than most men even with respect t…

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