The powers and freedom of men and women in ancient Greece were similar to that prevalent in any other society then. It was a male-dominated society with the women reduced to the confines of their home.Men were associated with power.
Men and Women in Greece
They ran the government and the power to make decisions rested with them. Women were to stay at home, produce babies and look after them. They were not allowed to leave the house unless necessary.
Status of women in ancient Greece
Women in ancient Greece were taught to read at home or in schools. They were also learned important skills such as stitching, cooking, and weaving. They were controlled by their fathers before marriage and by their husbands after marriage.
Gender Roles in Greek mythology
Women also learned important concepts about religion, mythology, and God at home itself. When in their teens, they would marry the man chosen by their father. Women were not allowed to leave their home. They went out sometimes for religious duties only.
Dowry system was prevalent in ancient Greece but the property was controlled by the husbands after marriage. The Greeks believed that a respectable woman must not be seen in public. Women were barred from all kinds of the sports events.Women played an important role in funerals. This was the only time when women were more important than the male. Most men felt that women were necessary only to produce children.
Women had absolutely no rights in ancient Greece, not even the right to vote. They were looked upon as objects to satisfy men’s desires. Some paintings show women as dancers and prostitutes.
Status of men in ancient Greece
Men played a dominant role in the ancient Greek society. They ran the government, actively participated in sports and other sources of entertainment.Boys were considered more important and sent to school at the age of 6.
Reading, writing, calculations using abacus were learned by them at school. They also learned music and poetry. In order to have healthy minds and bodies, man participated in sports such as wrestling, boxing, running, and jumping.
They participated in the games at Olympia such as riding, chariot racing, horse racing etc. The most popular occupations among men were joining the army, doing business or working as athletes.
Men mostly stayed away from the house. They were the bread-earners of the family. All important decisions were taken by them. They entertained themselves at dinner parties, theatres, and gymnasiums.
Men have considered most responsible members of the family and society alike. They were treated with great respect at home. The women and children were not allowed o eat in the same room as the men in the family.
Men had separate slaves to serve them at home.The ancient Greece men and women had contrasting status in ancient Greece. Men were highly respected whereas women were reduced to their objects of pleasure, confined to the four walls of her home.