Response to plato

Marium Iqbal

Women and gender studies


Response to Plato’s Republic:

Plato’s Republic concerns his theory of state. This excerpt’s

contents consists of two revolutionary proposals for social

organization of an ideal state. In explaining so, he kind of

separates the issue into two parts, which is the part concerning

the state its self in the aspect of guardianship with regards to

women, and the part concerning the household with respect to

gender roles. He starts his argument by addressing the debate on

the opposing side first, which in this case would argue that

women should also be able to be “guardians and watch dogs of

the herd.” What I found a bit alarming though was that at the

very beginning of Plato’s Republic, he talks about coming to the

right conclusion about the possession and use of women and

children. First of all the words  possession and use, I feel like

were a poor choice of words that make it seem as though women

and children can be considered as mere objects, prizes, or

property. That is a very disappointing and alarming notion. In

addition to that by saying women and children, he categorized

women to the likes of children, who relatively are more

incapable than adults. Right there Plato was suggesting that

females are inferior to males and that’s completely unfair.

Although this excerpt claims to convey both sides of the story, I

still feel like it was bias because from the beginning you know

which side it was swaying in favor towards. Plato establishes a

theory of essentialism in his work by suggesting that the essence

of a males and the essence of a females are different, and

ultimately the essence that of a males is superior. He also

implicates that physical strengths such as fighting in a war

excludes women, which is clearly not true because just take

world war 1 as an example; women are just as capable as men.

Although Plato addresses why females should be treated equally

with regards to guardianship and other social roles involving the

state, he doesn’t address it to its truest or fullest capacity

because he comes from a time where society considered women

to be inferior to that of men but that is still no excuse for how

society discriminated against women for centuries.



2 thoughts on “Response to plato

  1. I completely agree with your analysis. After reading the excerpt and then reading your response, I realized I missed a lot of crucial points while reading the first time around. For example, I completely overlooked the fact that he used the words “possession and use” to introduce how to come to the right conclusion. Those words are offensive, as women aren’t objects like you mentioned. Plato definitely had a bias towards men throughout the passage.


  2. This was an excellent analysis. Women working during World War 1 was the perfect example of how women can do anything as well as men. It’s really sad that this is still a problem today and how much we can still relate to his opinions on inequality.


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