Women in utopia

Essay by hadilUniversity, Bachelor's February 2005

download word file, 1 pages 3.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 19 times

Utopia is based on egalitarian principles, and these principles extend to issues of gender. Utopian women are allowed to work, vote, become priests, fight, and generally have just as much influence over Utopian affairs as do men. True, some pragmatic constraints are placed on women. For example, they are not expected or allowed to engage in heavy labor since in general they are not as strong as men. But these pragmatic constraints do little to alter the staggering degree of freedom that Utopian women are afforded in contrast to European women. However, while Utopian women hold a basically equal secular standard as the men, Utopian religion, with its demand that women prostrate themselves before their husbands, is formulated in such a way that it implicitly holds men as more religiously pure. There does not seem to be any way to reconcile these differences in the status of Utopian women as secularly equal but religiously inferior.

Rather, the differences seem to betray the underlying influence of sixteenth century Europe; Thomas More creates a society in which women are given more rights and power than any in existence, and yet even he cannot completely escape the European conviction that women were inferior.