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Ancient Athens-Democracy Essay

Our idea of democracy was derived from ancient Athens. Ancient Athens was very important in history because it was the first government to run as a democracy. Without their ideas, many other countries would not have a democracy. In Athens, women did not have a lot of freedom and spent most of their days in the house as a housewife. They were considered only one class above slaves and were practically an object that their husband owned. The role of women has improved a lot from Ancient Athens to modern American society.

Women in Athens did not have many legal rights unlike the modern American society now where men and women are equal. They were not allowed to be taught to read or write nor were they allowed to get any type of education besides preparing to become a housewife. Women were not allowed to vote and were discouraged to leave the house for any reason. If they needed something from outside they got their slave to do it for them. As a child all women were raised this way and know no other way of living. Their own mothers were raised this way too and as a housewife, they taught their own daughters how to become one too.

Now in modern America, women have just as equal rights as men like getting an education, having a job, voting, holding elective office and a lot more. With the women’s rights movement and the 19th amendment, women have gone far to earn their rights. Another reason how the role of women improved is because back then in an Athenian marriage, the husband was always the more dominant one and the wife just agreed to everything to what her husband said or at least pretended to agree. Even before the marriage, the women did not have any say in anything.

Her father and groom arranged the marriage completely. During the wedding, they even had rituals to show that the woman was now the “preparer of food”. Nowadays it is not like this at all. They are equal in the relationship; no one is more dominant then the other. Also women do not just agree with her husband in their marriage, they get say. Although most women were housewives, there was one other thing that females can be besides a normal citizen which was to be a Hetaerae.

Hetaera was basically just a prostitute but surprisingly unlike the modern world, they ere considered a slightly higher class then normal women citizens. They were given an education and were allowed into sacred places that normal women citizens were not allowed into. Even this type of role for women has improved in this world because now women don’t have to do that to get more respect. Women are already respected and actually, becoming a prostitute is looked down on and is considered a lower class. Without the ancient Athens’ idea of a democracy, we would have never had a democracy. The role of women has really changed and improved from ancient Athens to the modern American present day.


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