Gender Roles in Ancient Egypt, Rome, and India

Powerful Essays
Prompt: Gender is not sex: gender has to do with the roles and expectations commonly ascribed to men and women, and these can vary from one society to another. Write an essay that explores similarities and differences in gender norms in ancient Egypt, Rome, and India. Gender roles vary from place to place. There is not a set standard that applies to every place all over the world. Men are usually of higher position than women but not always. In this paper I will tell you specifically about the gender roles, mostly of women, in India, Egypt, and Rome. In India, the women are controlled almost completely by the men in their families. They also have to pay a lot of respect to the men in their culture in general. The women must follow the commands of her father first, after him her husband, and lastly her son. Although she must obey these men the restrictions do not end there. After a woman’s husband dies she does not have independence and she is not allowed to remarry. In the movie Paheli there were very good examples of what the culture would be like among the gender roles in India. The newlywed, Lachchi, must her veil removed by her husband, Kishen. She is not even allowed to do this herself. While Lachchi and Kishen are on the way to Kishen’s house, Lachchi has some children go and fetch her berries from a nearby tree, Kishen scolds her and takes possession of the berries and does not let her ingest them. One part of Paheli that strikes me as interesting is the section where the men give the women colorful bangles. In this society the men spoil the women but they place such harsh restrictions on them. It states directly in the textbook, “A virtuous wife should constantly serve her husband like a god, even if he behaves badly, freely indulges his lust, and is devoid of any good qualities.” This is saying that he can do whatever he wants, cheat on his wife with whomever he pleases, and if he has nothing going for him or does nothing right. On the other hand, the

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    One single body of thought has influenced post-classical society’s view of gender roles. This body of thought perceived the idea of patriarchy as a given, established millennia ago, undeniable, unquestionable, and lastly, necessary. Consequently, the laws that followed this faulty perception led to the subordination of women throughout the whole of the post-classical era. However, it would be inaccurate to categorize either gender as monolithic when talking about civilizations that spanned thousands of miles over the course of a millennium. This is remedied by the little change each civilization expressed toward women. Religion established many laws restricting women and setting the political abilities of men high. Men of societies in China, India, and Africa were seen as the capable figure more and more while women were thought of as inferior to men; this, however, still allowed heavy disagreement about whether or not women could own property their a husband’s death, or in the event of divorce and outside the walls of marriage.…

    • 587 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The common view in ancient societies was often that this was a world of men; that women were inferior. There is often debate on the role of women in society, but in reality, women play an important role in any type of society, whether it be good or bad. Women in ancient Greece, China, and the Roman Empire were able to exercise influence into their culture despite the discrimination toward them. Although each society was different, women shared similar influences in their power, and restrictions in the aspect of marriage. Although most of these ancient cultures viewed women similarly, of these three locations, the women in the Roman Empire had it best.…

    • 1109 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In most of the ancient Greek world, gender roles were fairly static throughout time and outside circumstances had little or no influence on gender construction. Men functioned within the public sphere, whereas women were restricted to the private, domestic sphere. This was the typical gender construction of most ancient societies, and remained so in much of the world until modern times.…

    • 468 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Patriarchy In Ancient Rome

    • 1471 Words
    • 6 Pages

    From the earliest civilizations, societies everywhere have been dominated by the patriarchy. However, the level of degree of male dominance and social structure in society did differ between the civilizations. The Roman Empire and Han Dynasty were no exception to this. Both ancient civilizations were similar in the respect that from birth, girls were treated lesser than boys. Even if in the Han Dynasty, where the values of Confucianism were respected and followed, which stated that everyone under the empire were equal, the true actions of citizens did not reflect this philosophy to its entirety. In the Roman Empire, women were subject to similar prejudice, as they were subject to the authority of their father, and then husband after marriage.…

    • 1471 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Women 1500 Ce

    • 2649 Words
    • 11 Pages

    Women's lives, roles, and statuses changed over various early world history eras and culture areas in many ways. Ancient Persia, Paleolithic, Athens, Mesopotamian and Roman eras were all different in very unique ways. The Paleolithic era treated women fairly and were treated equally. During the Neolithic era women were not treated fairly. She was the daughter of her father or the wife of her husband. Women rarely acted as individuals outside the context of their families. Those who did so were usually royalty or the wives of men who had power and status.” (oi.uchicago.edu, 2010) Athenian women were not treated fairly either almost as if they were not even a citizen. “Laws forbade women and children from participation in political, judicial, and military affairs.”(Mahdavi, 2012) During the Ancient Persian Empire women brought more to their marriage than the men did. They could also divorce their husbands without reason and explanation. The Ancient Persian Empire is when women’s roles really began to change. Women that lived within the Roman Empire were expected to have a guardian because the Romans believe the women were not responsible enough to do things without. Although, women were still considered property, they had more options and rights as a woman.…

    • 2649 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Gender roles have been around since the time life started. However, everything always seem to change over time, whether it be from work, or by itself. Gender roles, the ones from 1000 years ago and the ones today, are no exception. Gender roles have changed throughout the trip of time, but they have also kept some foundation from the ancient time roles. Men and women views have changed over time, but they still have similar basis from long, long ago.…

    • 832 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    In both empires the people and class structures played an important role in maintaining political control within the empire. In both Imperial Rome and Han China a patriarchal society was present and men were placed above women. However, women in Imperial Rome…

    • 419 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    b. Presented with the Order of Valor and venerated as the mother of the heroes…

    • 276 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Women in Ancient History

    • 863 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Woman has always been over shadowed by the last three letters M-A–N. Women have been categorized and held bad back in some cultural, but in other cultural women were as equal to men. While exploring the different civilizations during the ancient history times (BCE to CE), the Babylonian women were to keep their sexuality sacred. As an Egyptian woman, women were considered to be equals to a man. As a Middle Eastern woman, women were considered to be ruled by husband but had their own property, slaves and jobs. A Chinese woman, they were not allowed to do much mainly respect and honor their husbands, birth a boy, and honor the mother-in-law. During ancient times women had different roles, lives and held many statuses in each civilization, regions, and eras. However, those roles and statuses may have changed now that we are in a different era.…

    • 863 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    From the time of the Old Kingdom to the time of the New Kingdom, Ancient Egypt was a society dominated by men. Much of the history of Egypt is expressed through the perspective of Egyptian males. This leaves the perspective of the other half of the Egyptian population, females, unexplored. When women of Ancient Egypt are discussed it is often just the women of power or royalty who receive attention. This leaves many people unaware of the role of the average women in this society. Achieving A reversal of this unawareness is done by explaining the role of the average Egyptian woman in the family, the legal rights of women, and the role of women in the temples.…

    • 891 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Women in Ancient Egypt

    • 1539 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The role of women within Egyptian society was a highly complex one. Differing depending on their particular class and place within the social hierarchy, the women of ancient Egypt are often described as the most legally free and equal of any ancient civilisation.…

    • 1539 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Based on evidence in The Instructions of Ptah-hotep and The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, information can be inferred from a number of different aspects involving the way of life in Pharonic Egypt. These texts offer an insight into the world in which these ancient Egyptians lived. Through a complex and diverse system of government, these people were able to maintain a stable and successful civilization for many years. They had profound ideals of behavior that, when applied to their way of life, proved to be very influential. They adopted their beliefs and traditions that were passed down from generation to generation. They were also part of a complex hierarchal system of government that allowed…

    • 1497 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the period of 600 B.C.E. to 600 C.E., the status of women in India had changed from being viewed as a man’s possession to being acknowledged, respected, and have values and domestic authorities which had helped to increase India’s overall economy, while the unfair expectations and rituals that debase women stayed the same.…

    • 636 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Unlike many women from different regions of the world, Ancient Egypt’s women have the same equivalence with men. They had a better status if not the best at that time, was even better than Europe in that era. In manuscripts found, Egyptian women would have enjoyed the same legal and economic rights, at least on paper. The problem in ancient Egypt was never about gender discrimination but about social hierarchy. You might not get to enjoy the same rights not were not born royalty but not because you were born a female.…

    • 289 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Women in ancient Rome and China were very different but quite similar as for as their treatment and roles were concerned. In both cultures they were under the protection of their fathers until they married. When they married they were to stay home and be wives, they were not formally educated and learned to manage their households. They were not allowed to disgrace their families in any way and were inferior to men from the moment of birth. Chinese women whether from a noble or a poor family could not escape oppression, but it was somewhat easier for the women from Noble families. (8) Comparing the women of Ancient Rome (750BC – AD500) and the women of China (350BC – AD600), from the roles they played in society to comparing their status to the status of a man in this era; a day in the life of a woman in these ancient times that was dominated by men.…

    • 2043 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays