Women in Ancient History: the Differences Between Societies

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Women in Ancient History: The differences between societies
Betty Senesac
HIS103
Jennifer Bridges
February 27th, 2012

I have chosen to write my paper about the different roles that women played in the different societies of ancient civilizations. Not every society viewed their women in the same ways. And not every society allowed their women to have rights or voices to speak out in public. Some societies viewed their women as slaves or servants, while others gave their women rights just like men.

The women of Biblical times, the women of China and the women of Egypt as well as women of Nobility were all treated differently. Different societies, different views and different customs all played a part in how women were treated. Customs passed down from generations determined if a woman was equal to a man or if she was viewed as being below him or belonging to him.

Women of Ancient China were viewed as things of beauty if they came from a wealthy family. They were forced at a young age to endure foot bindings to make their feet small. “Footbinding thus became an efficient way to keep women in their place--the inner chamber—physically, mentally, and symbolically. It offered a “means of spreading Chinese culture and teaching the separation of men and women”. (Ping, 2000). Even though this left their feet severely disfigured and ugly when bare, they were a thing of beauty when placed into the small lotus shoes.

Although women of wealth were treated better than poor women, I would think that it was almost better to be poor in that time simply because of the forced footbindings. “It is not clear whether footbinding really succeeded in keeping women chaste. But one thing is certain: footbinding became the primary mark of class and gender identification.” (Ping, 2000). So if you were poor you were not forced to endure this horrific ordeal.

Ancient Egypt had a different view on their women. “Women were not a homogeneous...
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