Essay on Was Plato a feminist?

616 Words Aug 30th, 2014 3 Pages
In some aspects, Plato supported the feminist’ view, that men and women are equal. When analyzing Book V of Plato’s Republic, many people argue as to whether or not Plato can be considered to be the ‘first feminist’. Martha Nussbaum claims that Plato is the ‘first feminist’. This essay will explore Book V of Plato’s Republic and will provide evidence to prove Martha Nussbaum’s claim that Plato is the first feminist.

Firstly, what is a feminist? According to the oxford advanced learners dictionary, a feminist is “a person who supports the belief that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men”. However, during the times of Aristotle and Plato, women and men were treated differently, men were considered to
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If a man or woman is passionate about something they must pursuit their passions. An example of this would be – if it were in someone’s nature, regardless of his or her gender, to be a politician, then this is what that person should do regardless of his/her gender. The above statements regarding nature allows for the argument of difference between man and women to arise. The republic, book V then mentions the differences between man and women. In Plato’s book V he states “but if the only difference appears to be that the female bears the children, while the male mounts the female, then we shall say this in no way proves that for our purposes a women is any different from a man” (Plato, the republic, book V, 454e). In this statement, Plato is suggesting that the difference that ‘females bear the children’ is not a valid difference to argue that women are not capable of doing things that men are capable of.

To conclude, there are justified arguments suggesting that Plato was not a feminist which in doing so contradicts Martha Nussbaum’s claim that Plato is the first feminist, however, the above evidence is sufficient enough to prove that there is good evidence for Martha Nussbaum’s claim that Plato is the First

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