Monday, July 17, 2006

Women and Utopia

I think Socrates' concept of equal rights for the women in his State is brilliant. Considering the times, its an ambitious idea and even he himself admits that. Though they still perceive the female as "weaker by nature", at least they acknowledge that women are able to accomplish any task that men are as well. And by using descriptions of animal behavior as examples of how sexual discrimination is not present in other species, he is able to convince his companions that it also should not be present in their State, and women are to be allowed the same education and occupations as the men in their State. This concept of equality for the women of the State is very utopian. A utopian society is one that aims to achieve an ideal way of living, to achieve perfection. And there is nothing more ideal/perfect than all citizens of a society being treated as equals.
The only thing that bothers me about Socrates' description of the State was the selection of suitable mates for the people of the city, that they would be paired in order produce good offspring, and nothing more. This notion of breeding in their State, and also the one where children will never know their real parents nor will parents know their real children, seem very odd to me and not likely to be well-executed if the State was, in fact, real. Though I commend Socrates' in his ambitious ideas for the State, this one is a little farfetched; however, the one for sexual equality is, as I said before, brilliant.


Blogger Erin said...

I agree with you that Socrates' idea that children should never know their real parents is odd and would not work. His opinions on women are good and utopian-like, but this breeding technique is farfetched and in my opinion, not very utopian.

11:13 PM  
Blogger karebear1206 said...

I also found Socrates' concept of mass mating and everybody the same age being everybody's siblings and calling this whole group of adults parents. I agree that this idea would very unlikely be successful. The population should have the freedom to make their own choices of chosing a mate and having a real family. This "utopia" applies too much control.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Going along with your idea that a utopia seeks to achieve a perfect society, I agree with you with regards to the mating aspect. If it was truly an ideal society, wouldn't it be one where everyone would be able to mate with people that they wanted to mate with? It isn't such a wild idea, afterall, that you don't have to reproduce with people if you don't want to. In some cases, we call that rape. And while I"m sure that they did not consider it rape back in Socrates' time, it isn't completely unlike it.

4:21 PM  

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