Women have come a long way in society throughout time. They've gone from being nothing to being something. In some historical civilizations women didn't have roles or even identities like the men did. Women were nothing without men. In other civilizations women had some rights close to the men's but never better than them. From there women moved on to becoming more educated, gaining some knowledge and more control of their lives but were still "less" than men. As years passed and centuries gone by women were becoming more and more equal. Now, in 2002, and in our society, the United States, women are created and seen as equals. They have the same rights, the same opportunity for education, the same opportunity in athletics, and the same opportunities in the job world. .
Let's take a look back at two different historical civilizations that had two different identities and roles for women. We will look at Sparta and Athens, two of the Greek poleis that stood out for their vividly contrasting styles of life and their roles in Greek history. There most surprising contrast being the difference in the roles and status of women.
Sparta created a rigid hierarchical society of well trained, tough and athletic men, women and children. It was admired for it's loyalty, bravery and social order. Spartan women spent their time outside and spoke freely to men much like our society. Women in today's society are free to be outside and free to speak openly to men. Spartan women were given public education including singing, dancing and athletics. In today's society women are also given public education as well as private and have the same rights as men to participate in singing, dancing and athletics. Spartan women were also unique in being able to own land and manage their own property as well as the women in today's society. .
Athens, on the other hand, was a more open society than Sparta but treated their women much differently.