In book V of Plato’s republican Plato is very clearly a feminist although he does not hold women completely equal to men. In fact Plato states that the majority of women are inferior to all men, but not all women were inferior. Plato was indeed a feminist, but his feminist views were as a result of decisions made for what he thought was in best interest of the good city. A feminist is a described as an advocate for women’s rights and legal protection. Within book V of the Republic, Plato advocates equality in different features of life within the good city for women.
The equal education of man and woman is one feature of the good city which Plato desired to put in action. Plato felt this was necessary not based on feminist views, but due to the fact that women were potential guardians of the good city so they should have equal education as the male guardians. Due to the fact that Plato calls for equal education of the two sexes clearly classifies him as a feminist. Plato states in the Republic that the majority of women are inferior to men, he later states that some women may be capable of being equal to or even superior to some men.
With this fact being, Plato feels that women must also be given an equal opportunity to govern the state due to their potential superiority over men. Therefore/ Plato called for equal education of men and women in the good city (Is Plato a Feminist? ). Another topic discussed in Book V of the Republic was the Nature of a human’s soul. Plato felt that just because women had inferior physical features then men did not mean that women should be ruled disregarded from their nature. In other words, if a man and woman both had guardian nature, the woman should not be neglected due to her gender.
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Plato’s feminist views are greatly expressed when he explains that women could be well-suited to govern the good state. In the best interest of the good city Plato felt that potential guardians or politicians of the good city should not be limited based upon their gender due to his belief that all humans have a certain nature within them regardless of their sex (Is Plato a Feminist? ). Once again this feminist belief portrayed by Plato was not accredited to his passion for women’s equality, but is represented by his opinion in preserving the good city.
Plato would not be considered the ideal feminist; his decisions in giving the women of the good city equality were not made in the best interest of the women. Plato feminist decisions were made as a result of what he thought would be in best interest of the good city. Throughout the Republic Book V Plato expresses his views and opinions on different issues relating to the good city. Although Plato states that does not hold women equal to men in mainly all aspects measurable he is still undoubtedly a feminist.
The main aspect of Plato’s feminism is that he gave women rights for what he thought was in the best interest of the good city, not the women. Even though Plato would not be considered the ideal feminist he is evidently a feminist nonetheless. Plato would not be what many consider to be an ideal feminist. But, when answering the question if Plato is a feminist or not, he and decisions he made regarding the good city are undeniably feminist. Plato’s views of feminism are not a direct result of concern of women’s rights, but are directly related to Plato’s idea of the ultimate good city.
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