In the debate, Plato raises some very interesting points about the discrimination that women have faced for a long time now.
Right in the beginning, he says: Are dogs divided into hes and shes, or do they both share equally in hunting and in keeping watch and in the other duties of dogs? or do we entrust to the males the entire and exclusive care of the flocks, while we leave the females at home, under the idea that the bearing and suckling their puppies is labour enough for them? That’s interesting, because if animals aren’t treated with such discrimination, why are humans? I mean, sure, the alpha male goes out and brings home the meat, while the mothers take care of the children, but they aren’t forced to preform that role, they do it because they want to. For the animal world, if the female animal wanted to go out and preform a male role, she wouldn’t be dissected and put down for it, she’d be congratulated and considered an additional helper.
He discusses how it sure wouldn’t be easy to suddenly start including women in the way that we include men, but once upon a time, there were many trends and ways of living that were once considered taboo or unnatural at first, but they were soon adapted and still in use today.
Plato talked a lot about the fact that men and women differ mostly due to the strength and weakness that each have, respectively, but that’s kind of where he was wrong, because women are just as strong – both emotionally and physically and their so called “weaknesses” shouldn’t be the reason why they’re often excluded from all the activities that the men can partake in.
I think Plato definitely had the right ideas though about why it was needed for females to be as equal as men and he knew how to explain it properly too in ways that even I hadn’t thought about. But, there are also places when Plato doesn’t really give the topic of women the respect that it deserves. When he talks about them, he adds on ‘children’, suggesting as if women and children are one big group and don’t play separate roles that require separate rules.