Gender Equity Issues In Antigone Compared To Present Day Gender Equity Issues
Equity is upheld by the idea that people should be treated in an equal way in where people are not treated differently than others. Gender is referred to as attributes such as: biological, physical, psychological, etc. that are associated with a certain specific sex. When put together, gender equity is when people from both sexes are treated in a fair manner. This kind of equity between the two sexes, however, has hardly ever been accomplished, not in literature or in real life. Gender equity is not only apparent in books, but is also proposes as a significant problem in our everyday lives.
In literature, Antigone, a character in Sophocles’ play is a very good example of a symbolizing the role of feminism. She has respectable qualities such as having great courage and respecting the gods. Antigone is a role model for the society. She proves herself as a woman, showing the great responsibility that she has when power is entrusted to her, instead of being cooped up at home. Antigone wants to bury her brother because she feels that it is her right and duty to do so, however, because Antigone is a woman, Creon chooses to give her irrational and hard punishments because of this. Creon does not want to look weak in letting Antigone do this without receiving some sort of harsh punishment.
Antigone, being a woman, has a major effect on the action that she wishes to take. Greek women had a limited amount of freedom, with more and extra restrictive rules and laws. Antigone’s rebelliousness is viewed as a threat, upsetting gender roles and the positions of hierarchy. By not giving in to what she is told, she is pretty much flipping around the rules of her culture. It is also evident that there is a great difference between the two characters of Antigone and Ismene. When put in a situation that is unjust, Antigone does not just sit back, she does something about it, while Ismene does nothing. Antigone is probably the only person in the play that follows her fate. She puts her family number one, even before the law. Antigone, opposing all the opposing cultural and societal views, buries her bother, Polynices because according to her, it was a sign from the gods to her.
The issue of gender equity is not only apparent in literature, but also in everyday life. Often times, it is seen in sports. There are also many instances that occur in other daily activities where men and women are involved. Throughout the past and the present, men and women have not shared equal rights and opportunities Men have been viewed as the superior, even though women can fulfill and are qualified to do the same positions and the things men can do. Many times, women also do not get paid like men do, they get paid less.
Society appoints certain expectations concerning the certain appropriate values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, actions, etc. that are different for both men and women. Females are usually expected to behave in a more gentle and delicate manner. On the other hand, men are supposed to have more aggressive behavior.
It is extremely difficult to grasp the great distinction between the rights that men have and those rights that women should have. This is not only a problem that is evident in the difference of salaries that men and women receive, but this gender equity problem is also very evident in other areas of the society, such as today’s media. Different cultures from different parts of the world suggest a very stereotypical characterization that men are better and superior to women. An example would be that the man and husband is the head of the family, otherwise known as a patriarchal family. Men are seen as the more intelligent ones, where they are more talented, and are able to fulfill and do things in a more proficient way in and out of the house. On the other hand, women are viewed as the inferior one in the family, in where they are not able to do anything.
Family is important and is the fundamental basis where people learn, grow, and experience the path that leads them to adulthood. Values that are taught in each family vary, but almost each will emphasize the meaning and things that happen in the world and how each person should interact with other people in the world. Gender roles are the underlying foundation of a family, where the father is seen as the head of the house and the family, while the mother is supposed to be responsible for taking care of the house and the children. This however, gender roles can be compared to prejudice instead of family values. Gender role is like prejudice, instead of judging by color, it is judging people by whether they are male or female. Gender role places individuals into a position of what other people want them to be, instead of what that person wants or can be.
Gender is the corporeal, behavioral, cultural, and emotional traits related with one sex. When shared, gender equity is the condition of equality or justice inclined to people of both sexes. Since this “equity” has hardly ever been achieved, literature as life declares this as a key problem. In Antigone, the focal individual Antigone is defiant, rash, and volatile. Against all bans, she exhumes her brother as said by her; this is the communication she had gotten from the gods. She regarded this act to be the greatest thing she could have done. Being a woman limited her privileges.
During time, males and females have not assigned equal rights. Even though men and women are in nearly all cases met the criteria for the same positions, they often do not get paid the equal sum of money. Males have always dominated and are recognized for being “greater”. Women earn $0.75 while men earn $1.00 doing the equal accurate work. “Wage inequity,” says Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman, “remains an unfortunate reality for many women” (Elder 1). Why is it that women are offered less than men? Our culture has hopes about suitable conducts, approaches, thinking, and values for males and dissimilar others for females. Females are by and large expected to be kind and reliant, while males are expected to be loud, violent, and sovereign.
Additionally gender difference subsists in such a way that it in fact exist in salary between men and women university staff associates. Public and private universities have separate salaries for professors such as, in a public autonomous university, a men is paid $67,175 at the same time as a women is remunerated $59,468, which is much less. In a private college, a male professor is compensated $80,018, while a woman is remunerated $69,455. The way in which professors are paid accordingly of gender equity is completely unfair. If faculty does not take in work created by women, the faculty is sending the message that women are not dynamic providers in that area of study. This occurred lately in 2005, with Harvard’s Mathematics Department and Chancellor (Sarah Banet-Weiser).
It is difficult to recognize that there is a huge difference that survives between the privileges of men and women. This is a concern that does not only live in the difference of the wages of men and women, but this is gender equity matter also exist in additional areas for instance the media. Diverse civilizations all over the world have as an orthodox depiction proposal that men are always superior to women, for example in the patriarchal family. Why does the man have to have dominance over the women of the house or family? Men are depicted as the intellectual, talented, capable and endowed. Women conversely are depicted as the lower ones that are not able of doing much. Family is the foundation of ones life and it is the foundation in which people learn as they grow into maturity. Family values educates about the world and how persons should cooperate with each other. Gender roles are the roots of a family: the father is the person in charge of the family, and the mother is in charge for the house. Gender roles are not prejudiced by family values; gender roles are nothing but prejudices under a special name. Gender role sets people into a shape of what other persons wants them to be.
In ancient Greece, women were not nationals, held no property, and undeniably were not even permitted out of the house except for under guard. At an early point in the play, Antigone is resolute to carry her job to bury her dearly loved brother to the grave with her. Antigone decides to serve the gods whilst Creon makes the state his top primacy. Creon is a determined, obstinate dictator who only cares for himself. Creon is faultless, difficult, and gets too angry. In other words, he is a bigot sovereign. He stated that as he is living, no woman shall rule over him. Refuting someone the aptitude to do something makes him revolutionary. Creon shows his view that women are valueless when he speaks to his son: “Oh Haemon, never lose your sense of judgment over a woman. The warmth, the rush of pleasure, it all goes cold in your arms, I warn you…a worthless woman in my house, a misery in your bed” (Sophocles 40). “Because Antigone is a women, and her act so public and vocal, the offense becomes particularly heinous (Bovard 19). Creon asserts that Polynices, the conspirator is not to be buried, but his sister, Antigone, defies the order.
Antigone looks onward on burying her brother as a normal privilege and responsibility. It is right, and it is her right. “She has tolerated it as the merely inevitable medium for what she has to do and endure the honoring of her brother’s death and the suffering of her own. She has scorned the interval between the two. It is only now that she is forced to wait for her own death that her sense being in time begins to expand” (Poole 170).
Creon is fearful that he will look powerless if he permits Antigone’s action to go without penalty. The gods have not deserted her however she has never needed their help or doubted their permission. This persistence on her longing puts her in a line of tragic heroes.
Antigone’s gender has deep impressions on the implication of her actions. Creon himself says that the necessity to conquer her and her case is for the reason that she is a woman. The liberty of Greek women was very restricted; the policies and conventions were enormous. Antigone’s revolt is particularly aggressive since it upsets gender roles and hierarchy. By declining to be flaccid and adaptable, she turns around the fundamental rules of her society.
There is a difference among Antigone and Ismene. When faced with unfairness, the two women respond in very dissimilar manners. Ismene decides to do not anything and Antigone chooses to do something. Afterward, Antigone establishes repeatedly that she is the person with the most superiority. She is possibly the only character in the play that goes with her destiny because that is her belief. Antigone places family before the law.
These proceedings are explained using the measures of a woman, Creon so much so that he is eager to put an order that defy the laws of the Gods. He is narrow-minded as well as obstinate to see that he could be mistaken. That is why Antigone symbolizes a component of the feminist world. She stand up for her values and for what is right.
Bovard, Karen. “Righteous Activist or Confrontational Madwoman: Sophocles’ Antigone (441 B.C.E.).” Women in Literature: Reading through the Lens Of Gender. Eds. Fisher, Jerylin and Ellen S. Silber. Westport, CT: Green Wood Press, 2003. 18-20
Elder, Larry. “Gender Gap Solution”: Fire the Men. June 8, 2000
Poole, Adrian. Tragedy: Shakespeare and the Greek Example. New York: NY, 1987
Sophocles. “Antigone.” World Literature. Ed. Donna Rosenberg. Lincolnwood, Illinois: NTC Publishing Group, 1995. 14-65
Weiser, Banet Sarah. Gender Inequity in Academia. 2000-2001. The Newsletter Of the USC Academic Senate. May 23, 2005. http://en/resources/newsletter/0001v2n1/newsvol2no1article9.shtml