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Sat May 5, 2012, 12:16 PM

Feminism in the Ancient World

Feminism in the Ancient World
The Early Origins of Feminist Thinking and Women's Rights

Nov 14, 2008
Jen Syrkiewicz

Feminism is the movement which promotes a belief in the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes. Although largely originating in the West, feminism is manifested worldwide and is represented by various institutions committed to activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.

The Origins of Feminism

When the notion of feminism is considered in the modern world, we largely bring to mind leading and revolutionary feminists such as Wollstonecraft and Woolf. However, the three waves of feminism did not commence in the eighteenth century. Indeed, it has a small but profound place in ancient history dating back to before Christ.

The Influence of Sappho

The Greek poet Sappho is one of the greatest poets in classical literature. Her lyric poetry is among the finest ever written, and although little of her work has survived and little is known about her, she is regarded not just as one of the greatest women poets, but often as the greatest woman poet in world literature.


Feminism in Roman Times

In the 3rd century bc, Roman women filled the Capitoline Hill and blocked every entrance to the Forum when consul Marcus Porcius Cato resisted attempts to repeal laws limiting women’s use of expensive goods. ‘If they are victorious now, what will they not attempt?’ Cato cried. ‘As soon as they begin to be your equals, they will have become your superiors.’


Read more at Suite101: Feminism in the Ancient World: The Early Origins of Feminist Thinking and Women's Rights | Suite101.com http://jen-syrkiewicz.suite101.com/feminism-in-the-ancient-world-a78424#ixzz1u14ozffb

Short but great, lots of good links.

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