Webster's Dictionary, defines "feminist" as "a person who advocates equal rights for women"." Activists, in the same dictionary, are defined as "advocates of a cause, especially a political cause"." Though similar in definition, it has been argued that in Sophocles' story, "Antigone", he portrays Antigone as either one of the first known feminists, or an activist, who stood against outlandish governmental laws. .
If feminists are simply a type of activist, then why not expose Antigone for who she is; an activist who believes in the laws of the gods rather than the laws of man. As demonstrated throughout the play, Antigone primarily stands on the grounds of "[Creon has] no right to keep me from what's mine." This quote is one of many that give us hints of Antigone's feminist point of view. .
If exploring the idea that Antigone's purpose in the story was to stand up for women's rights in a male dominated world, how does Antigone demonstrate her pre-feminist ethics? It could be said that Antigone believes that a woman's duty is not to the men who rule a domain, but rather to her own instincts and her own sense of right and wrong. She believes that the gods do not dictate through a ruler, but rather through individual beliefs. Feminists today are viewed as raging, man-hating bitches, who want nothing but to tear down the stereotypes about women. But feminism, in its true sense, simply advocates women's rights. Creon attributes anarchy to women and feels strongly that a social structure favoring men must be maintained. Antigone can be considered a feminist because she challenges the "men make the rules and women follow them unquestioningly" mentality of the society she lives in. .
Antigone acted against Creon's decree by burying her brother, Polynices, and standing firmly for what she believes to be the right thing to do. Antigone proudly stands before Creon and tells him "Zeus did not announce those laws to me ", saying that following the laws of the gods were much more important than following the laws of a self righteous man.