Women and the Ideology of Political Exclusion: From Classical Antiquity to the Modern Era, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Women and the Ideology of Political Exclusion

From Classical Antiquity to the Modern Era, 1st Edition

Edited by Tatiana Tsakiropoulou-Summers, Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou


334 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

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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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Ideological Construct of the ‘Inferior Female’, Tatiana Tsakiropoulou-Summers & Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou

I. Greek and Roman Antiquity

1. Solon’s Legislation and Women’s Incompatibility with State Ideology, Tatiana Tsakiropoulou-Summers

2. Making Men and Making Women: ‘Male Superiority’ in Archaic Athens, Matthew Lloyd

3. Powerful Women and Gender Ideology in Herodotus’ Histories, Helen Tank

4. Women in Thucydides: Absence and Inferiority, Kelly E. Shannon-Henderson

5. Autochthonous Landscape and Female Exclusion in the Athenian Democracy, Allison Surtees

6. The Politics of Female Madness in Greek Tragedy, Maria Gerolemou

7. Mechanisms of Exclusion: Women Between Ritual and Emotion, Eleni Papazoglou

8. Dangerous Bodies: Plato’s Laws and the Ideology of Female Inferiority in Fourth Century Athens, Elizabeth LaFray

9. Politics of the Deformed: Women, Slaves, and Democracy in Aristotle, Velvet Yates

10. Women in Associations in Classical and Hellenistic Athens, James Kierstead

11. Female Reticence in Republican Rome: Agency and the Performance of Exclusion, Margherita Carucci

II. Renaissance through Modernity

12. Gendering Civic Humanism: Political Subjecthood and Male Hegemony in Renaissance Italy, Androniki Dialeti

13. The Materiality of Female Agency: Madre María de San José’s Writings in Seventeenth-Century New Spain, Constance G. Janiga-Perkins

14. Woman Reclaimed: Subverting Feminine Exclusion in the Works of María de Zayas in Seventeenth-Century Spain, Xabier Granja Ibarreche

15. Women and French Democracy, 1789–1804: Between the Guillotine and the Civil Code Limitations, Metka Zupančič

16. Mary Chesnut’s Civil War: Female Exclusion and Race in the American South, Youli Theodosiadou

17. A "Society of Outsiders": Virginia Woolf’s Feminist Agenda in A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas, Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou

18. Gender Equality Law in Greece and the European Union: The Trajectory from Exclusion to Inclusion, Anna-Maria Konsta

19. Gender, Citizenship, and Political Inclusion/Exclusion in the European Union: An Intersectional Approach, Birte Siim and Monika Mokre

About the Editors

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies