Democracy: Has it Always Been Focused on Equality?
How does the society that gave us the democratic government of equality for all show such discrimination? Athenian government in ancient Greece was an incomplete democracy that has developed over time. The Treatment of women and foreigners in Euripides' ancient Greek world is less civilized than in democratic societies existing today. In a society dominated by men, women had a severe bias put against them. Women had no control over their bodies, homes, or even the society that they lived in. "Of all things with life and understanding, we women are the most unfortunate. First, we need a husband, someone we get for an excessive price. He then becomes the ruler of our bodies. And this misfortune adds still more troubles to the grief we have. Then comes the crucial struggle: this husband we've selected, is he good or bad? For a divorce loses women all respect, yet we can't refuse to take a husband." (Medea, 263-272). A woman could not function in society without the influence or permission of a man. How does a woman left in divorce survive? In this world, they don't. Women must accomplish above and beyond their husband's expectations in order to satisfy them. As long as they continue to keep them happy, they should be lucky enough to continue living within society. Women were not the only group discriminated against in ancient Greece. Foreigners were both welcomed and unwanted at the same time. Foreigners were allowed to live and work in the city but were refused, however, the rights given to the average person, such as the right to vote or even citizenship. How could that possibly be just? Foreigners also had to pay a special tax that was only imposed on them because they were not citizens. Basically they were paying for the "privilege" of living among people that were perceived as being better than them. If you were not born to parents who were citizens, you were foreign and seen as useless. Even a child with...
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