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Women - Essay Example

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Women always played important role in the political and social life of states, in spite of their inferior status. While men were waging wars and struggling for new lands, women were trying to maintain the social order; in general they didn't rule directly, since the society always restricted their power, but acted as 'grey cardinals', whole control was always hidden…
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Download file to see previous pages The first feature, common for all these women, is their masculinity, interwoven with typically female manner of control. Queen Dido rules Carthage, Margot is a member of the Damned Few, the secret council of the Women's country, and Athena is a deity, a goddess of war, wisdom and knowledge, adored in the Ancient Greece.
In order to understand Margot's roles and functions, let's look briefly at the organization of the Women's Country. "Within Women's Country, all the cities are walled and each city has, outside its walls, a garrison of male warriors to protect them from other male warriors protecting other cities" (Tepper, 1988, p.21). In exchange for this defense, the women have to give their male children to his father at the age of five. Warriors are allowed to enter Women's Country under two circumstances. First, they can visit it biannually for 'Carnival', a social event which encourages men and women to have intimate affairs in order to have children. Second, the warriors, who wish to change their life and turn it to more peaceful side, can return to the Women's Country as the servitors, who perform the women's commandments, but enjoy civilized life without any weapon, cruelty and violence. The ordinances and instructions made by the women are directed to day-by-day guidance for the inhabitants, who want to lead healthy and productive lives. Furthermore, the Damned Few's policy is close-knit with the total abolishment of gender inequality and with making women independent. Margot is one of those who try to improve the lives of the citizens, who really long to construct, not to destruct.
In spite of her great power, Margot hasn't become cruel, like many tyrannical political leaders. Margot is an elder and physician in Marthatown (ibid, p.43). Margot is a person, whose life is an example of righteousness in terms of women's country. She has to develop new the values of gender equality (or even of female dominance to some degree) in the Country, so she does not allow herself such trivial things as love while solving problems of great importance, such as problem of violence. Using the power her knowledge and wisdom, she rejects the power of her emotions and brings up her daughter Stavia in a similar way (ibid, p.82).
Queen Dido is one of the first female characters of western literature. It is possible to say that she is a female parallel to Aeneas. Queen Dido experiences a loss, when her brother betrays and kills her husband Sychaeus. Nevertheless, she is actually a person who founded a new city, having led her people from the motherland as exiles. She has no intention to fall in love with Aeneas, but Cupid traps her with his arrow. Thus, diving into the love, Dido looses her masculinity and moral stability, and her city begins to weaken.
Once Aeneas leaves her, she becomes anxious and gets a fixation on her feeling, and needs a child in order to comfort herself. Having broken her promise of fidelity, given to her husband's soul, and feeling completely desperate, she commits suicide but not without bothering the Trojans and predicting the wars between Rome and Carthage.
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