1st Edition

Women and the Ideology of Political Exclusion From Classical Antiquity to the Modern Era

    350 Pages
    by Routledge

    350 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Women and the Ideology of Political Exclusion explores the origin and evolution of the political ideology that has kept women away from centers of political power – from the birth of democracy in ancient Athens to the modern era. In this period of 2500 years, two parallel tracks advanced: while male authority tried to construct an ideology that justified women’s incompatibility with the political organization of the state, women attempted to resist their exclusion and thwart arguments about their inferiority.

    Although the issue of women’s status has been studied in detail in specific eras, this interdisciplinary collection extends the boundaries of the discussion. Drawing on a wide range of literary and historical sources, including Herodotus’ Histories, Plato’s Laws, María de San José’s Oaxaca Manuscript, and the work of Émilie Du Châtelet, Mary Boykin Chesnut, and Virginia Woolf, the chapters here reveal the various manifestations of the female-inferiority construct. Such an extensive overview of this historical trajectory promotes a deeper understanding of its causes, permutations, and persistence.

    Women may have made great gains toward political power, but they continue to encounter invisible barriers, raised by traditional stereotypes, that block their path to success. Women and the Ideology of Political Exclusion aims to make these barriers visible, raising awareness about the longevity and tenacity of arguments, the roots of which reach classical antiquity.

    Introduction: The Ideological Construct of the ‘Inferior Female’ I. Greek and Roman Antiquity 1. Solon’s Legislation and Women’s Incompatibility with State Ideology 2. Making Men and Making Women: ‘Male Superiority’ in Archaic Athens 3. Powerful Women and Gender Ideology in Herodotus’ Histories 4. Women in Thucydides: Absence and Inferiority 5. Autochthonous Landscape and Female Exclusion in the Athenian Democracy 6. The Politics of Female Madness in Greek Tragedy 7. Mechanisms of Exclusion: Women Between Ritual and Emotion 8. Dangerous Bodies: Plato’s Laws and the Ideology of Female Inferiority in Fourth-Century Athens 9. Politics of the Deformed: Women, Slaves, and Democracy in Aristotle 10. Women in Associations in Classical and Hellenistic Athens 11. Female Reticence in Republican Rome: Agency and the Performance of Exclusion II. Renaissance through Modernity 12. Gendering Civic Humanism: Political Subjecthood and Male Hegemony in Renaissance Italy 13. The Materiality of Female Agency: Madre María de San José’s Writings in Seventeenth-Century New Spain 14. Woman Reclaimed: Subverting Feminine Exclusion in the Works of María de Zayas in Seventeenth-Century Spain 15. Women and French Democracy, 1789–1804: Between the Guillotine and the Civil Code Limitations 16. Mary Chesnut’s Civil War : Female Exclusion and Race in the American South 17. A Society of Outsiders: Virginia Woolf’s Feminist Agenda in A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas 18. Gender Equality Law in Modern Greece and the European Union: The Trajectory from Exclusion to Inclusion 19. Gender, Citizenship, and Political Inclusion/Exclusion in the European Union: An Intersectional Approach


    Tatiana Tsakiropoulou-Summers received her doctorate in Classics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is currently teaching at the University of Alabama, USA. Her research focuses on female archetypes in Greek and Roman epic poetry and on the impact of ancient thought on Western civilization, especially the status of women. She has published numerous articles and a collection of essays on women and the formation of ethnic identity in Greek culture. She is the director of the Athens Center for Classical and Byzantine Studies at the Athens Institute for Education and Research, Greece. Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou received her doctorate in English from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, where she is currently teaching. Her research focuses on realism, modernism, and the English novel, as well as on gender and body theory. She has co-edited several volumes of essays, including The Future of Flesh: A Cultural Survey of the Body (2009). She is also general editor of the European Journal of English Studies.