Defining Inferiority and Superiority? Promoting Equality or Celebrating Difference? What do you think?

For the record, Wikipedia is barely tabloid, especially when dealing with anything that hints of opinion. That said, I actually went back to the source, Aristotle's Politics and it's not nearly the women bash Wikipedia or the opinion pieces it sources claim. I only gave the first two books a quick reading, but they were the claimed source of the most egregious sexism, so that should be sufficient for forming a divergent conclusion.

So, he is using the natural order argument. Women, children, and slaves were all grouped as dependents. While there is a master and a ward, their rights and responsibilities differed. I am not condoning slavery, however the context has to be remembered. Most of his logic is founded in how ridiculously expensive it would be for society to give everyone full autonomy. No one had those kind of resources at that time in history.

Furthermore, I couldn't help but laugh when I found this gem:

And this is what has actually happened at Sparta; the legislator wanted to make the whole state hardy and temperate, and he has carried out his intention in the case of the men, but he has neglected the women, who live in every sort of intemperance and luxury.

This shows two things - 1) that women were not considered inferior during the time of Aristotle, and 2) the problem of equal rights/unequal responsibilities is literally as old as Western civilization.

We live in an age of literal wonders, where physical exertion is becoming valueless to society and there is enough resources for everyone to live a life of leisure. Do not minimize how huge a difference that is from our past, and how recent that change is.

Aristotle's logic has crumbled because his underlying assumptions were invalidated. Not because he hated women. Hell, his whole argument is framed as compassion.

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