Monday, July 17, 2006

But who's going to raise the children?

Socrates' view on women was definitely that in this "new state" they should have all the rights and responsibilities of men. He repeatedly claims that this is the most difficult question to correctly answer for his society. From the beginning he forsees that the opposition's argument will be that women are the weaker sex and that therefore they are different from men and suited to their "specific purpose." But that doesn't stop Socrates from doing what he always does... coming up with a valid counter-argument. He makes the argument that a man's hair (being bald or not) does not determine his profession, and yet it is a difference between two men. So Socrates then claims that just because a difference exists does not make it a valid difference. From this he derives that just as the bald v. hair difference is negligible, so is the male v. female difference (pg. 121). Thus, Socrates makes the assertion that women are as equally qualified as men to do music, gymnastics, and go to war.

I think that this view of women is not crucial to a utopian society, because it might be found that having the women take care of raising the children and maintaining the home actually are beneficial to the society as a whole. But I also think that this view definitely sounds like a possible scenario for a utopian society. It is very "politically correct" in it's assertion that women are equal with men, and I could easily see this fitting the definition of a "perfect society."


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