Feminists are of the opinion that women in this world have been neglected by history and men through out the ages and liberating them would be synonymous with giving them a stand point to move the world. Klues looks to the pioneers of female research in antiquity whose glimpsing women history through a record from which the female sex has been excised for millennial by patriarchal bias, must have been like constructing a house out of the space between the slats of a fence.
Further Klues considers that assiduous and objective scholarship produced an unassailable picture of the role of women in classical Athens, a picture now almost universally accepted, in which domination of male over female is there seen as complete and crushing. Only one wave of classical scholarship, obviously by anthropology, looks to male-female relationship as a significant determinant in Athenian society, as in any other: an ingredient of total culture no less fundamental than its economy or its religion or its political structure. More authors have argued that women did not have a place in history.
However, Hasel making reference to Pauline Schmitt –Pantel makes a note worthy reminder of Greek philosophers works such as Aristotle and Plato that made relation to different sexes. A similar reference is made about the Greek cosmologies meaning that women have always had such a place. Hasel has therefore put forth a vivid conclusion. “The image of the Topos then might not hold much because it is based on seclusion of women in antiquity which may not be the case. ” The portraits of Lipia as discussed in Bartman had an effect in creating a stronger imperial Rome.
Though there are undertones of their use in propaganda and other political machinations and maneuvers, Bartman note that they were sculpted in the spirit of compromise which he refers as ‘give and take’ between the sculptor and the sponsor. Scott say that there was a moment not all that ago, when feminists thought gender to be an invincible barrier against biology. The sex/ gender distinction would analytically separate the physical body from the social body; it would then no longer be conceivable that anatomy was destiny.
Though women might be viewed as ‘non- actors’ thus acting in the realms of those who built and wielded political power to which they were subject to had a private life which of course influences public life. In the words of Scott, those absent from official account none the less partook in the making of history; those who are silent speak eloquently about meaning of power. This reawakening Scott notes has brought about congruence in thought between political historians and writers penning ‘her story’.
It has also brought about to the way changes occurred in law, politics and symbolic presentations. A further implication Scott explains is that there are social explanations rather than biological and characterological to the different behavior of men and women and their unequal positions. The feminists are thus challenged in this argument for neglecting female agency by diminishing the historical importance of personal life encapsulated in its three elements- family, sexuality and sociability.
Thus irrespective of what feminists think women have always had the stand point and have moved the world as much. Reference Bartman ‘Portraits Of Livia Joan W. Scott, (1988) Gender and the Politics of History (New York 1988) 15-50. Joan W. Scott, `Millenial Fantasies`. The Future of Gender in the 21st Century`, in: Claudia Honegger – Caroline Arni (eds. ), Gender. Die Tucken einer Kategorie (Zurich 2001) 19-37 Wagner Hasel (1989)Women’s life in oriental seclusion? On history and and use of Topos. Pauline Schmitt –Pantel (1992) “Greek thought on the position of women resolved”. Pg 79.
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