Perception of Women in the Society

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Women's roles in society have been eroded over time. Historically, women were not allowed to vote, participate in any aspect of politics, or lead an organization, among other activities that were reserved for men. Gender inequality has persisted for a long time, merely shifting shape to represent a younger view. And in Sophocles' Greek tragedy Antigone, women were consistently belittled by men, which is also a major problem in today's culture with the gender pay gap and defunding of Planned Parenthood. As a result, this paper would try to explain how women are portrayed in Antigone in contrast to today's culture. While it is easy to overlook the sentiments entailed in Sophocles’ work, deeming them a product of his time, it is worth noting that sexism still prevails in many aspects of the modern society.

In many instances in Sophocles’ Antigone, women are belittled just like they are perceived in the present society. In one case, Ismeme tells Antigone, “Remember we are women, we are not born to oppose men.” Women in the culture of Antigone were not supposed to compete with men in any perspective. As evidenced in the sentiment above, even the women comprehended the fact that men were much superior in all aspects; hence, they could not oppose or compete with them. Such notions are reflective of the contemporary society, particularly regarding the wages. Currently, in the U.S., a female working full-time all year long earns roughly $10,800 less than a man on an annual basis, according to the median yearly income. The disparity is even higher in some occupations. Just like in the culture of Antigone, the current society belittles women when it comes to the earnings. The culture perceives women to be less competitive when it comes to competing with the men. Moreover, employers are likely to prefer men employees than their female counterparts (U.S. Congress 5).

Creon's belittling sentiments typify Women's position in the culture of Antigone. Throughout the play, Creon perceives the women to be inferior in all aspects, making statements like “no woman shall lord it over me (Fitzgerald),” “a worthless woman in the house, is a misery in your bed.” Even after realizing someone had buried Polynices, Creon did not suspect any lady; instead, he thought it was a male traitor. As the king, Creon belittled the women and perceived them to be inferior to the men. Such are the assumptions in many occupations in the current society.

The wage gap is primarily affected by the type of occupation. Evidently, the present society restricts some courses and occupations to the males. For instance, the number of women involved in engineering and other mathematic-related courses is quite minimal as compared to the men. The same is evidenced in occupational choices. The society still views some occupations to be reserved for the males, while secretarial and beauty-related jobs are left for the females. The effect is evidenced in the wage gap. Just like the culture of Antigone restricted some tasks to the males and females, the current society also replicates the same. For example, women in the culture of Antigone could not bury a body. Similarly, the current society restricts women from conducting some tasks reserved for men (U.S. Congress).

Just like leaders during Antigone’s culture overlooked women in many aspects, current activities typify the same. Creon makes a compelling speech during Pericles funeral, dedicating much of it to the men. However, he undermines the vitality of women in the society similar to how the current society belittles them. A good example can be illustrated by the move to defund Planned Parenthood. The body has been providing a broad range of reproductive health care services to the females all over the country. The body has managed to assist many females in need of amenities. As such, undermining the body via defunding is similar to demeaning the value of women in the society (The Times Editorial Board).

The 21st-century woman still faces numerous challenges when it comes to proving herself in the society. They have to prove themselves in the workplace among other areas that are primarily dominated by men. It is for this reason that they tend to receive a lower amount even within the same occupation. When Creon addresses women, he speaks about their natural trait that entails keeping quite. In this society, women had no right to give opinions; instead, they were supposed to remain silent, weak, and beyond the public domain. They were not supposed to be heard in public (Fitzgerald 22).

However, this aspect has changed in the current society since women have been greatly empowered. However, they still do not the anticipated attention like their male counterparts. During his last days, Socrates relates weak men to women. In his assertions, he described males who cried in court behaved like women. In slating and belittling the men in this manner, he was undermining them in the worst possible manner (Fitzgerald 22).

In Antigone, Creon implies that assenting to a female is emasculating. The sentiments are proved by Ismene who highlights the notion that women are naturally fragile. Perhaps, it is the reason most of them prefer other less demanding tasks or courses. The perception of females in ancient times lingers even in the contemporary globe. Most of them viewed men to be superior and did not strive to outdo them. Some were satisfied with their roles; thus, making the men feel much superior. It is the kind of behavior that epitomizes most women in the present world. Even though they are sidelined by men when it comes to employment, some of them do not take the chances to strive in the competitive fields. As such, they exemplify Ismeme’s notions. However, this does not erase the fact that women are belittled in various sectors presently just like they were undervalued during the ancient times (U.S. Congress).

In conclusion, as elucidated above, the wage gap between men and women in society is primarily driven by the posts and occupations. In other words, the females are mainly involved professions that are regarded by society as less demanding. On the other hand, men indulge in higher demanding jobs with numerous tasks involved. In the process, the men attract more wages as compared to their female counterparts. This mechanism is rather ancient and deprives the women opportunities to excel in the highly regarded professions. Society continuously places women at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for the available opportunities. It also seems to undermine their importance as typified by the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Such activities continue to severe the chances of attaining equality. In general, women are continually undermined by men in society today similar to the Greek tragedy Antigone as exemplified by the gender wage gap as well as defunding of Planned Parenthood.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, Dudley Fitts and Robert. "Antigone." n.d. 22 March 2017.

The Times Editorial Board. "Defunding Planned Parenthood hurts the healthcare system." 7 January 2017. Los Angeles Times. Defunding Planned Parenthood hurts the healthcare system. 22 March 2017.

U.S. Congress. "Gender Pay Inequality: Consequences for Women, Families, and the Economy." 2016.

October 19, 2022

Psychology Sociology


Behavior Identity

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Perception Woman Society

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