Monday, April 03, 2006

Platonic Friends

Reading Plato today (as you do when exams draw near), it struck me that there are so many different ways to think about feminism in Plato's Republic. For example, many of the male critics reading Plato were absolutely appalled by the idea that the nuclear family would be abolished and women would take on the same tasks as men. They make desperate pleas to the idea of women's *difference* and that taking away the family robs us of our "special excellences". Reading this does cause the blood pressure to rise somewhat, but as most of them are dead, sustained ranting seems pointless.

On the other hand, Annas points out that Plato only gave women freedom because it served the state and what they were doing at home just wasn't worthwhile. This is much to the distress of many other women, who are inclined to treat Plato as the forerunner of J.S.Mill and applaud his stabs at equality. I'm having some difficulty finding articles on this (or indeed books) which were written after 1980, so I think it would be interesting to see how it would be viewed now. Or perhaps the idea is now so conventional and boring that it's just ignored?

Personally, I'm sticking with the view that Plato couldn't give a hoot about equality (as some of his comments would suggest), but was all for the idea of a well-oiled state machine.

This has been a fairly pointless post, but the academic musings have kept me from dwelling on how I might implode with anger at the facebook group I described earlier (which you can find if you can log into and search for f*** the f-word). I went through one of their discussions earlier and had to pace the landing to try and calm down. Today's stunning contribution was the advocation of perpetual fellatio to keep men occupied.

Well quite.

I'm also annoyed by the bloody sanitary towel advert that keeps playing over and over again. As though women should walk out in protest about non-stretchy wings (admittedly it can be a problem on occasion and yes it should be sorted, but really.) when there are so many other things to protest about that are that little bit more important. Like rape. Or domestic violence. But anyway. Perhaps this is a topic for another day.

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