Saturday, September 22, 2012
The Origins of Feminism
Some of you may agree with me and surely some of you will not, but I feel like Medea is an early feminist piece of literature. In Greek society, women had no power, no prestige, and no responsibility. They would sit around at home and do nothing; even the queen of city-states had no role in early Greek government. Medea shows the disadvantages women had in that time and how they were used for different purposes, such as political connections, the status and wealth of their family, and their use in having children. Medea also shows, however, a woman standing up to the patriarchal society of Greece. She doesn't take no for an answer, and even when she realizes she will inevitably be exiled, she just adjusts her plan so she can complete it before she leaves. It may seem like a weird type of empowered woman, but in that time slandering the royal family was a capital offense, and Medea just continues doing it no matter how many times she is warned. Also, instead of men using women as usual, she uses men like the king and Jason to accomplish her goals. I believe Medea is a feminist predecessor to pieces of literature like The Handmaid's Tale, A Room of One's Own, and The Feminine Mystique.