“Who Runs the World?”

Hour 1.5: In class on Thursday we took the quiz, like every Thurday. I did surprisingly well seeing as how I had gotten 2 hours of sleep the night before. We also continued to discuss he previous module. We discussed grandiosity and how it can be a good and a bad thing in some cases.

We also discussed the important of “When should a leader give up his or her role?”.

  • I personally think that when a leader has done all they can do, they can step away from the leadership. Being a leader is all about knowing yourself and knowing what you are capable of. There are also circumstances of an ineffective leader and in certain situations they should step down for the good of the following. I think that it may something that is hard to do to swallow your pride and understand that your leadership is ineffective or doesn’t exactly benefit the people.

We also discussed the controversial Pepsi commercial that gave the idea, one , that people actually drink Pepsi, and that it cures everything thats wrong in the world.

We continued on our theme what happens when a leader fails or when they lose people and how they explain that failure. We also discussed the motives of people to assume a leadership role. We came up with a few ideas like:

  1. Money incentive
  2. Recognition/ status
  3. Genuine want to help people
  4. Power
  5. Responsibility

Hours 3–4: Over the weekend I began this weeks module. The module focuses on the women in Plutarch’s “Virtues of a Woman”. The module will look at 27 anecdotes of various ancient women and situations

The first part of the module deals with Plutarch’s opinion on women.

Plutarch seems worried that readers won’t take his stories about women seriously. Why might that be? What does his concern tell us about prevailing ancient attitudes towards women in the public sphere?

  • I think that Plutarch was concerned because of the way women were viewed in society. Plutarch’s concerns are valid because women were viewed very differently in the ancient world.

What methodological statements does Plutarch make about how he will prove his thesis, organize his collection, and select his material?

  • He sets the virtues of men and women next to each other as well as arts and poetry. He says that is we place these things next to each other we can see that there is no difference between the works.

Hours: 4–5: The second part of the module introduces the 27 anecdotes.

For each story, answer the following questions: What are the various good, virtuous qualities women display? How do women make men do what they want? How do they use their bodies, and how do they use their intellect to effect what they want? What do women do (or what happens to them) after they have succeeded in achieving their aims?

The Trojan Women: The Trojan women display courage and boldness. They got what they wanted by burning the ships and kissing and embracing their men to distract them. In the end it became a tradition for many years after that to greet their men by kissing them.

The Women of Phocis: The women agreed to the plan to essintially kill themselves and their children if the men were losing the war. The women voted separately and agreed with the original plan. I think that by their agreeing to the plan it gave the men motivation to actually win.

The Women of Chios: The women of Chios portrayed their strong art of persuasion. The women called the men cowards if they followed the oath to go forth with no means of defense. They told the men that their swords and their shields were their clothes. The women had taught the men courage.

The Women of Argos: The women of Argos demonstrated extreme bravery. The were inspired by Telesilla and her story to defend there land. They manned the walls and fought and some died. The result was the festival of impudence, where men dress like women and women like men.

The Persian Women: The Persian women demonstrated courage. The women ran to the men who were fleeing and lifted their garments and called them cowards. The men were embarrassed and turned back to the fight. It sparked the tradition that women recieve a gold coin when the king rides through the city.

The Celtic Women: The Celtic women stopped a civil war by demonstrating bravery by placing their bodies between the two fighting parties. As a result they looked to women to settle disputes.

The Etruscan Women: These women demonstrated bravery. They switched clothing with their husbands in prison and took their husbands place as they went off to fight the guards.

The Women of Salmantica: These women demonstrated bravery. They hid the weapons because they knew they would not be searched. They helped the men attack and then fled. They returned to the city and were restored.

The Women of Ceos: These women demonstrated loyalty and a sense of respect amongst each other. They repected one another and effectively created an environment with no adultery or seduction.

How do communities commemorate the brave actions of their women? What do those memorials tell us about how women’s actions were viewed?

  • Of the numerous examples of women given they were all rewarded or commemorated in some way , like the story of Valeria and Cloelia and how she was rewarded with a horse because she exemplified qualities of a warrior. Many received traditions that lasted long after they were gone.

Hour 5.5: On Tuesday is class we began discussing the module and women in leadership. We analyzed a few of the examples in the module.

We also talked about civility in leadership and what the basis of a friendship is. Friendship is typically based off of similar world views and opinions. We discussed wether a person could have terrible world views and still be a good person. When we look at friendship we have to think what that stems from. We tend to want to be friends with people who embody the same types of beliefs and opinions as ourselves. There was a question of wether we can still be friends with someone who has opposing viewpoints.

Hour 6–7: The third part of the module is a continuation of the second.

For each story, answer the following questions: What are the various good, virtuous qualities women display? How do women make men do what they want? How do they use their bodies, and how do they use their intellect to effect what they want? What do women do (or what happens to them) after they have succeeded in achieving their aims?

Pieria: Wanted peace. She used the fact that her husbandd loved her and would do anything to please her so he ended the war for her because she wanted peace. People say they want to be loved how Phrygius loved Pieria.

Polycrite: Helped her brothers win the war by slipping a note into the pastries she sent them. She helped them win the battle because the people were drunk.

Lampsace: Uncovered a treacherous plot, but ended up dying from illness after warning the Greeks. She was buried and given honors and had the city named after her and the people make sacrifices to her as if she were a god.

Chiomara: She demonstated fidelity. She had the officer who had possesion of her beheaded and brought it back to Otiagon and told him that only man she had been intimate with was to be living. He saw this as the ultimate fidelity.

Hours 8–9: For the fourth part of the module we are looking at the character traits of the men and how they are portrayed throughout the various stories.

Are there recurring types of men who appear throughout the stories?

  • I think there are recurring types of men. There is the coward that pops up several times throughout and the women are always having to motivate them. There is also the glutenous male and the short witted male as well.

If you were to sketch out a stereotype of a man from this text, how would you describe him?

  • I would sterotype the male as a coward as well as misdirected but easily persuaded and influenced by the women.

Are there any good men? Who are they, what makes them good? How do they compare to the female protagonists?

  • I think an example of a good man would be in the story of Pieria. Phrygius wanted nothing more than to appease her and he looked past the problems and stopped the war for her. I think they were fair balanced in comparison to one another. It seems the woman is always encouraging the male in some way.