Feminism and Aspasia

One of the questions asked in class when we discussed Aspasia was something along the lines of, “if all we know of Aspasia is told through men, does that make it not worth anything/tinted?” One of the other students in our class said that no, it didn’t, because that would make it all worthless. I completely agree with her. While I can see where that idea might come from, that’s completely doubting that any man who preserved Aspasia’s work ever cared for it. I do understand that women were basically sub-human back in those days, the sole fact that we do know her work exists means that someone cared about it and kept it preserved. Though I do agree with invitational rhetoric and its idea that traditional rhetoric is very patriarchal and power-centric, I don’t think writing in a patriarchal way necessarily “taints” work. If the reader goes into the work understanding and keeping in mind the fact that the work may be written in that way, the “taint” can be removed and the more simple, unbiased core of the work can be revealed.

That is, of course, unless you are looking at a “men’s rights” piece of work.


2 thoughts on “Feminism and Aspasia

  1. I agree with what you say here. I think overall society was messed up during this time and a lot in previous years but that doesn’t mean that everyone in society thought women were sub human. White people tried to help African Americans out of slavery. Men tried to get women voting rights. Those are just two examples in our own country that prove that not everyone in society agrees with what their society is doing. So I think there were some men that were interested in preserving Aspasia’s work.

  2. I appreciate and agree with your statement that writing in a patriarchal way doesn’t necessarily “taint” the work. I’ve always believed that, while our society has been patriarchal since ancient times, there are plenty of egalitarians who can see the inherent value of a piece of work regardless of gender or perceived biases. This, I think, is evident in what you are saying about the fact that there were definitely men who preserved Aspasia’s work that cared for it in a sense of value, and not in a sense of gender. I also agree with your concept of invitational rhetoric, which I believe is a much more effective methodology, especially when we are concerned with subjective observations and persuasions. At the heart of every issue lies human flaws and biases, but you are definitely in the right line of thinking when it comes to the idea of an “unbiased core.” Great read!

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