Feminism in a “Perfect Society”

Feminism is a widely debated topic among our youth today, and this topic continues to dominate headlines in innumerable societies struggling with equal rights for both genders. Emma Gross, author of “Reconstructing the liberal consensus on what is feminist” discusses the need for feminism to take a more liberal and idealistic approach if the movement for this realm of equal rights is to achieve any success in its objectives. She compares the feminist movement to others such as liberalist and social work movements, and emphasizes what a perfect society would look like with more rational approaches.

“For liberalism, the means to such a society were the application and extension of democratic behaviors predicated on constitutional principles. For American feminists, the means to a more perfect society was the extension of these principles to women.” – Emma Gross

Gross believes a perfect society should have the application of independent activities based on lawful ideologies, aims of the liberalist movement, extended to women, because women are still currently at a great disadvantage in obtaining alike opportunities to men. I do agree with the author on these inequalities since this issue has been prevalent for a long time, and seems likely to be capable of being rampant until this movement gets what it deserves, but I also agree with Gross’ position on the need to take a more realistic and general approach to the situation.

Xenophon would have agreed with these views, to some extent, that women should be given the same rights as men in an unwavering manner, but only in the most basic fashions, and not into a position of great power, for it being part of a perfect society. He compares the women of the Greek states to Lycurgus’ claiming “the girls who are destined to become mothers and are brought up in the approved fashion, live on the very plainest fare, with a most meagre allowance of delicacies. Wine is either withheld altogether, or, if allowed them, is diluted with water. The rest of the Greeks expect their girls to imitate the sedentary life that is typical of handicraftsmen — to keep quiet and do wool-work.” He then continues, claiming that Lycurgus’ approach was different – “He believed motherhood to be the most important function of freeborn woman. Therefore, in the first place, he insisted on physical training for the female no less than for the male sex: moreover, he instituted races and trials of strength for women competitors as for men, believing that if both parents are strong they produce more vigorous offspring.” Though these views may be minor objectives to that of feminist movements currently, the Greek historian still generally supports the equal division of rights to women. Additionally, this idea of equality expressed by Socrates’ disciple would have been thought of as a good fit for a perfect society in that particular time, and currently.


Daniel, Team Diana


Gross, Emma. “Reconstructing the liberal consensus on what is feminist.” Affilia Journal of Women and Social Work, vol. 13, no. 4, 1998, p. 389+. Communications and Mass Media Collection, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=PPCM&sw=w&u=cuny_broo39667&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA21235077&it=r&asid=018d98581a09f1cb3581c0c28acf769c. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

5 thoughts on “Feminism in a “Perfect Society”

  1. I like how you brought the topic of feminism all the way back into ancient history but you mention that Lycurgus wanted women to have some equal rights that wasnt really mentioned as a necessity other then them having the required skills to raise their children better they arent mentioned as being needed to learn anything else to better thier society

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great piece of work overall. I agree with the well thought out positions presented by you and Gross. I also liked how you showed how equality for women has been a constant theme throughout history. Great Job.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked your reference, and I believe that feminism will always be an issue, as will many of the social issues that exist in todays society. I also agree with Gross’ idea that a perfect society is created through independent activities. In addition, an individual’s actions should not only benefit themselves but it should aim to benefit the whole as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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