Who Run the World… #11

Hour 1–2 (4.6.17):

What does becoming a leader mean? As a class, we discussed the terms activation, orientation and integration. Activation is the “ah-ha” moment that we either have for ourselves or others towards leadership. Someone is ideal for a position as a leader and that idea is planted into that person’s mind: “YOU would be GREAT as a *insert title of leadership*” or “You should really think about pursuing such and such because you have the perfect personality for it!”. It’s about letting someone know or figuring out yourself that they (or you) should look into being a leader of something or other. It’s planting the seeds of leadership. Then there is the orientation, where someone takes you or others through the process of what to expect. It is a formalized introduction to the responsibility someone (or you) will incur. For example, if the ownership of a family business is to be passed down to the next child, the parents or current owner will introduce the heir to the inner workings of the business, what to do if such and such happens, etcetera. Orientation is literally orienting someone to what should happen next if they are to take on the leadership role. Lastly, is integration or the recognition of someone as a leader by the wider community. To continue the family business example, the next in line would be taken around to the other owners or product suppliers to be introduced as the new boss.

But with becoming a leader may come someone else stepping down. At what point does this transition come about? Under what conditions and circumstances is it necessary that someone pass on the title of leader? As a class, we discussed how old age may be a factor in someone’s declination of power; f0r example, dementia and Alzheimer’s can cause drastic change and deterioration in someone’s ability to hold a leadership role. Another example would be understanding that someone is better suited for the role than you and it is in everyone’s best interest that you no longer lead (ahem, Donald, you might want to take notes). But there are also institutions put into place that follow a set of rules rather than personal intuition that determines exactly how long someone can and should be in power — ex. 2 terms MAX for an American presidency.

Grandiosity: exaggerated sense of self-confidence

“You believe that you excel in certain traits above all other people, but are objectively wrong”

Can grandiosity be a positive thing in moderation?

I think that with the right people in the right circumstances, high sense of self is necessary, but if you aren’t actually good at something and you truly believe you are, to the point where you are willing to act on this miscalculated sense of competency, you can ruin everything. For example, Donald Trump believes that he can be a competent president because of his economic endeavors (all failures), his patriotism and his inherent manliness. However, not even 100 days into his presidency and Donald’s grandiosity has put America and its international and domestic affairs into turmoil.

Odysseus: A true leader vs. a persona.

Within the story of Odysseus, the theme of blame is prevalent. Who is responsible to the misfortunes of the crew and who is placing the blame? Who is to take accountability?

Odysseus role on the journey home was much a leader as it was a representative — which some may say is why he was so vehement to gain hospitality prizes and such. The status and recognition was a political and social indicator of greatness and as a surviving warrior of the Trojan war, Odysseus must have felt he deserved nothing less. It could have very well been his sole motivation for continuing to lead his mean through the treacherous journey.

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Hour 3–4 (4.7.17): Plutarch the Feminist?

The virtue of a man and of a woman are one and the same

Moralia, The Virtues of Women (The Bravery of Women). Conversation between Plutarch and Clea on the death of Leontis’ death. Clea was a dedicatee in On Isis and Osiris and a colleague of Plutarch’s at the Panhellenic sanctuary of Delphi — Plutarch = priest of Apollo; Clea = priestess of Dionysus.

Step One: Assessing Plutarch’s claims about female leadership

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?

Women in ancient times, while they could at times hold title and power, were not commonly taken seriously as leaders. They are commonly depicted as common wives, if they are depicted at all. Women are subjected to the home where their responsibility and leadership oversees the home and the children. It is a common narrative across cultures. Plutarch’s work is a total 180 from the status quo of how women are looked at and valued. If I were him, I wouldn’t think people (*ahem* men) would be super receptive to my views.

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

Plutarch begins by saying that the works of famous men and women, when examined side by side and equally, are just as good as each other. One cannot determine the similarities and differences between men and women without looking at one’s actions and determining character.

And actually it is not possible to learn better the similarity and the difference between the virtues of men and of women from any other source than by putting lives beside lives and actions beside actions, like great works of art… For the fact is that the virtues acquire certain other diversities, their own colouring as it were, due to varying natures, and they take on the likeness of the customs on which they are founded, and of the temperament of persons and their nurture and mode of living.

Plutarch even goes as to far to claim that even comparing men to other men is hard because they can be the same in different ways.

How would you describe Plutarch and Clea’s relationship?

I think Plutarch and Clea share a sense of comradeship. They seem like agreeable colleagues, as though Clea is on the same plane as Plutarch in mind and virtue. Plutarch regards her like an equal, as he would any male friend.

Step Two: Understanding the Virtues of Women and their Modes of Influence in Groups

For each story:

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

Plutarch’s Virtues of Women:

I. The Trojan Women

The Trojan women had decided to stop wandering and settle down in a permanent residence despite having been driven from their homes after the capture of Troy. All the women burned the men’s ships to keep them from leaving/effectively disagreeing — Roman took charge. To escape any punishment the women used their womanly wills on the men by kissing them and showering them with affection — even creating a custom of greeting family/kin with a kiss.

There’s no real memorial towards the women; it all worked out pretty well for the Trojans because the natives were nice and there was, literally, no way to leave anymore.

II. The Women of Phocis

There are sacred rites that the Phocians perform that attests the actions of the women of Phocis.

The women didn’t really do anything in this instance except for accept having maggots dumped on them? This one was extremely weird and even the kids held council… I guess the most impressive part of this is that the women were given the choice to reject the idea and if they had, the men would have just agreed and left it at that.

III. The Women of Chios

The Leuconians were dealing with the backlash of the king, Hippoclus, jumping into the carriage of the bride, so he was killed; the Chians (the people of the bridegroom) faced the wrath of the gods and were driven from the city, settling in Leuconia. Then when the Leuconians were at war with the Erythraeans, the men wanted to evacuate with no armor — the women said that was NOT happening and that they were all cowards; the women convinced the men to take arms against the Erythreans and the opposing side were afraid and left.

The women taught the men courage and bravery. Then the women of Chios were threatened by Philip, son of Demetrius, as he was trying to enslave the women; the women (and their slaves) fought off the men and repulsed Philip.

IV. The Women of Argos

The women follow Telesilla, the poetess — she came from a good family, but was sickly, after devoting herself to the advice of the gods, she got better — well known for her poetry.

Clemens, the king of Sparta, killed a bunch of Argives and tried to take Argos; the women tried to hold him off under Telesilla’s command. They drove out Cleomenes and Demaratus (who had even gained possession of Pamphyliacum).

The memorials they had made for the surviving women was a statue of Ares — symbol of their valour. Festival of Impudence: clothe women in men’s shirts and cloaks and men in women’s robes and veils.

Women are like Amazons. Married women with a “beard” could occupy the same bed as their husbands — the law must require them to lay with their husbands because without it the men may carry contempt for them and their “manliness”. They didn’t have the women bed slaves but instead men of neighboring regions.

V. The Persian Women

Persians fleeing the city because Cyrus was defeated by king Astyages and the Medes, the women berated the men for trying to leave — called them cowards. The Persians attacked the enemy with a renewed fever.

Established a custom of women receiving a gold coin when a king rode into the city — authored by Cyrus. Ochus, a king, would purposely not ride through the city so the women couldn’t receive the gold — Alexander would enter the city twice AND give women with children a double amount.

The Persian women definitely used their bodies to sway the men:

“The women ran out to meet them before the city, and, lifting up their garments…”

Like the women of Chios, the women of Persia shamed the men into doing what they want; they intelligently used societal ideals of “manliness” to get the men to do what the women thought was right — it’s like the women knew they couldn’t do it themselves, so they got who they knew could do it to do it.

VI. The Celtic Women

Before the Celts settles in Italy, a civil war almost broke out. The women put themselves between the two forces and created a treaty of friendship between the warring men.

The women continued to be consulted in war and peace and helped decide disputed matters between allies.

Treaty with Hannibal: if Celts complained against Carthaginians, the governors/generals of Carthaginians (Spain) would judge; if the Carthaginians complained, the Celtic women would be the judge.

VII. The Women of Melos

Melians tried to create a colony, sent Nymphaeus. Landed at Caria; the Carian inhabitants of Cryassus gave the Melians some land. Carian’s jealous of the Melians land acquisitions — Caphene let Nymphaeus know the Carian’s plans. The Melians and Carians went to dinner and the women brought weapons. Men slayed the Carians and built the New Cryassus.

Caphene married Nymphaeus and received honours and gratitude for her service; the silence and courage of women is honoured — very courageous.

VIII. The Etruscan Women

Etruscans took Lemnos and Imbros — the Athenian women were stolen and raped; the Athenians were expelled and put in Taenarum, helped the Spartans in war against the Helots. Athenians gained honour and ability to intermarry — couldn’t hold office or be in Senate. Spartans ended up imprisoning the men and the women gave their husbands their clothing and the women took the men’s place. The men seized Mount Taygetus and helped the Helots revolt and the Spartans were scared and made peace — gave the men money, their wives and ships. The men ended up taking over Chersonese.

IX. The Lycian Women

Isaras (Amisodarus) went to Xeleia. His pirate ships were controlled by Chimarrhus — was evil. Beelerophon slew him and drove out the Amazons. Bellerophon prayed to Poseidon against Iobates — the men wanted him to check on the wave that had followed and the women, with their garments pulled up, convinced him to go back into the sea; the women helped his anger subside.

Custom became that the Xanthians bore the names of their mothers.

X. The Women of Salmantica

Hannibal was making his campaign against the Romans and attacked Salmantica; the “besieged” stopped being scared and didn’t do what they were told to. Hannibal came back with his troops and the men were to leave with no weapons or slaves or property. The women knew the guards wouldn’t check them so they hid the weapons in their garments and even some of the women attacked the guards. The city was eventually restored and immunity was gained.

XI. The Women of Miletus

The women of Miletus became “crazy” and many killed themselves. An ordinance was passed to carried the hanged women naked through the marketplace to their burial. This stopped the women from killing themselves; the women were not shamed when they were facing death but couldn’t face the disgrace that came after death.

XII. The Women of Ceos

Miadens of Ceos would go with each other to the public shrines while their suitors watched their sports and dances. The women were extremely loyal to their suitor, even when they had multiple. There is no memory of aldutery or seduction in that country for 700 years.

XIII. The Women of Phocis

The despots in Phocis seized Delphi and the Thebans were waging the Sacred War. The women devotees of Dionysus had wandered for so long that they fell asleep in the marketplace. The wives of the men of Amphissa deared that the Thyads (the women) would be treated with indignity so they set up watch post to protect the women. The women even escorted the despots as far as the frontier.

XIV. Valeria and Cloelia

The expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus was brought by arrogance and the virtue of Lucretia (woman married to a royal man). Lucretia killed herself after she had told friends and family about the actions of Tarquin’s son. Tarquin was taken from power but convinced Porsena, Etruscan ruler, to march against Rome. Tarquin didn’t want to Porsena to be used as a judge in the Roman’s case against him; Porsena renounced him and was given land and prisoners of war.

The maidens went down to the rivers, pretending to bathe, and Cloelia helped encourage the women to swim across (and they did!)

When the Romans saw that the women had made it across, they praised their bravery, but commanded the women to go back and Tarquin had set an ambush up; But Valeria, daughter of Publicola (a consul), had escaped. Cloelia had admitted it was her plan and she was the leader to Porsena and he sent her and the people with her back humanely. He admired her strength and daring.

At all events, there was a statue of a woman close beside the Sacred Way — The Statue of Cloelia (or Valeria).

***XV. Micca and Megisto

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Hour 5–6.5 (4.8.17):

Step Three: The Special Power of Individual Woman

For each story:

  • 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?
  • What are the qualities and circumstances that allow an individual woman to rise to a position of power?
  • Are the positive qualities of these individual women different from those illustrated in the “collective action” section? If so, how?

Plutarch’s Virtues of Women, Individual Actions

XVI. Pieria

Some Ionians went away to Myus and settled — the Milesians did not like them. There were certain festivals that the women went from Miletus to Myus. Pythes sent his wife and daughter to the festival and one of Neileus’s sons fell in love with Pieria; she wanted friendship and peace among the citizens and the war stopped.

The women of Miletus pray to this day that their husbands may love them as Phrygius loved Pieria.

Pieria used her love and relationship for the best of everyone. She used her position for a positive purpose.

XVII. Polycrite

War between the Naxian and Milesians because of Neaera (wife of Hysicreon of Miletus). Her husband made her a suppliant at the shrine of Hestia — war arose because the NAxians didn’t want to give her up. Diognetus, general of Erthraeans, fellin love with PLoycrite, a Nazian. She gave a note to her people telling them how to defeat the enemy and they do and she saves Diognetus’ life — then she dies from joy.

The Tomb of Envy: where Polycrite is buried.

Diognetus, according to Aristotle, was so taken by his love of Polycrite that he got carried away with her and that gave her power.

XVIII. Lampsace

XIX. Aretaphila


She was tortured but stood tall; surviving it made her want more than to be a prize for Nicocrates. She used her good looks to manipulate men.

Gave Aretaphila control and management of the government — she withdrew her powers and led a quiet, content life now that her city was safe.

XX. Camma

Camma, known for her beauty and her virtues. Sinorix fell in love and killed Camma’s husband Sinatus. So she poisoned him and herself, but she was okay with it.

XXI. Stratonice

She let her husband have a child with someone else but claimed it as her own.

XXII. Chiomara

Chiomera was made prisoner of war; dishonored by a guard whom she has killed; she takes his head to her husband and says that there should only be one man alove who has been intimate with her.

XXIII. A Woman of Pergamum

Poredic was executed. The woman of Pergamum buried him and covered his body. Her beauty and innocence had made the guard let her do it.

XXIV. Timocleia

She got Macedonian into a well and then threw stones at him with the maids; Timocleia was arrested and took full responsibility and was ready to receive the punishment of death.

ALexander the great marvelled at her bravery and words. He allowed her and her relatives to go free.

XXV. Eryxo

Eryxo wanted to go with Polyarchus to meet with Amasis, king of the Egyptians. The people of Egypt approved of the exploit and Amasis was impressed by the woman’s courage and self-control. honored both of them and sent them home.

XXVI. Xenocrite

Her behavior toward Aristodemus the despot; he was killed by the Thymoteles. He was a PEDOPHILEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! An absolute creep.

Shames the men of the community; the men aren’t fighting for their country’s freedom. WOMEN HAVE THE POWER TO SHAME; KEEPERS OF COMMUNITY VALUES

Xenocrite was given gifts but she refused all of them; she wanted only to bury the body of Aristodemus and it was granted; she chose the priestess of Demeter.

XXVII. The Wife of Pythes

The wife of Pythes was wise and good.

She took over the government after Pythes had died and helped the citizens with their miseries.

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Has Plutarch given us an exhaustive account of the human virtues? Do each of the women mentioned represent an exemplar of a particular virtue? Consider the other ancient women you may be familiar with: Cleopatra, Octavia, Fulvia, Jocasta from the Oedipus Tyrannus, Lysistrata, Livia (wife of Augustus and mother of the emperor Tiberius). Do these women fit one of the types Plutarch describes here? or do they belong to another category?

Think back to Plutarch’s methodological statements in the preface. Do you think this text is complete with the “Virtues of Men” he seemed to indicate as a part of his argument? How might Plutarch expect Clea (or any other reader) to compare men and women’s virtues without presenting “Virtues of Men”? What are the other ways in which this text compares men and women?

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Hour 6.5–8 (4.9.17):

Step Four: Analyzing the Vices of Men

In Virtues of Women, identify and categorize the actions and qualities of the men in the stories. Are there recurring types of men who appear throughout the stories? If you were to sketch out a stereotype of a man from this text, how would you describe him?

The men are usually rulers or hold some royal title or military prestige. They’re strong (because they’re engaging in war), but they aren’t the most progressive decision makers (they aren’t the ones *ending* the war). The men are fierce, but (the good men at least) are kind to the women; the bad ones are just trash with trash personalities and they act on their trash thoughts and don’t do anything to make situations better, mostly worse.

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

The men who can be considered “good” are the ones that not only acquiesced to the wants of the women but also the ones who understood the women’s ideas and value as human beings. They never shamed the women’s ideas as stupid or dumb and they never took credit for the ideas, instead giving full praise to the women who made the plans work. The men compare to the female protagonists in that the men are usually the ones starting or participating in the wars and they don’t really do much to *end* the wars. The men are more so pawns in the stories than protagonists themselves.

Hour 9 (4.10.17): How Manly Does a Female Leader Have to Be?

Andreia: courage; Andr: man. Courage equated to manliness (according to the Greeks). Even in Latin, virtus (courage/virtue) is tied to vir (man).

Is courage, a hallmark trait of a leader, something inaccessible to women? Do women need to become “manly” in order to be courageous or virtuous? Is the virtue of men and women one and the same because it is always defined in masculine terms?

I think courage is extremely accessible to women; I believe that words — which are all made up, if you really get down to it — are reflections of society at the time. Because ancient societies didn’t customarily give women a lot of power and responsibility outside of the home, “courage” was a trait made up by and for men — honestly most languages are male dominated, ex. using “He” and “Him” to illustrate a singular subjects (rather than he OR she, etc). Just because courage demonstrates society’s tendency toward patriarchy doesn’t mean that women are inherently incompetent.

Jeremy Mclerney, Plutarch’s Manly Women

Histoire de la Sexualité, Foucault; Plutarch’s Amatorius → “first shape of an important change in the old erotics”. A new symmetry between eros and shared respect between husband and wife, “mutuality”. (Plutarch defends widow of Ismenodora who is in love with ephebe Bacchon)

Equivalence between the sexes; Plutarch’s “virtuous woman”, women’s virtues one and the same as men’s — ex. bravery, wisdom, justice. Symmetry and equivalence between the sexes, similar to Amatorius.

Can women portray andreia though it is the one virtue that “makes a man a man”? If so, the manly woman, a very radical proposition, comes into play — it becomes less about men and women as equal and more so, women becoming like men.

Perpetua, transforms into “manliness” before she fights the Egyptian and wins. Plutarch doesn’t go into specifics about the actual virtues but about how all the virtues are essentially the same. Plutarch concedes that virtues can be expressed and taken on in different forms.

Plutarch faces the problem of applauding the woman without applauding the “manly” woman; gives no “explicit” commentary on the virtue that is being emphasized — readers must infer. PLutarch tries to argue that all virtues, between men and women, are the same and first compares the magolopragmosune (magnificence), sunesis (intelligence) and phronema (high mindedness) of men and women (briefly and vaguely)

What is McInerney’s thesis or central claim?

McInerney’s thesis is that Plutarch’s ideas that women and men hold the same values is wrong; he claims that Plutarch’s idea of a virtuous woman is to close to the idea of a manly woman, which in itself is contradictory.

Does his interpretation of Plutarch’s attitudes towards gender, morality, and leadership match your own?

I feel that Plutarch did a great job praising women, but I don’t think he did an immaculate consistently comparing their virtues to that of men; many times their virtues were caused by men and their terribleness so their actions centered around their femininity. If there is no difference between the virtues of men and women, Plutarch needs to talk about the differences in presentation of virtue.

Where do you disagree with his argument?

I think that McInerney takes “manliness” too literally saying that a woman cannot do what “makes a man a man” which is have courage (andreia). But I think his argument lacks insight into the . male dominated space that the word was produced by.

Hour 10+ (4.11.17): in class

Civility in leadership.

I am not a civil person. If I don’t like you, I don’t interact with you. Because of this, I could never be a world leader. I’m a very dramatic person so conflict and I do not mix well — so I avoid it when I can. But the times that I can’t? It’s game on.

As an adult, my headstrong “don’t back down” personality (at least in terms of conflict) has had to reigned in. While I still carry a lot of my views vehemently, I have learned to… let it go (at times). One of the most recent times that I have had to deal with someone opposing my own views was just last week. Recently, I have decided to make a big school decision that will affect my life not only academically, but in all facets. I’m excited and extremely stressed, but the decision is my own. My grandma doesn’t think so. I have had to learn to be civil when talking her through my decision and learning to listen to her views. Usually, when someone disagrees with me, I just pop off at the mouth; but, because it’s my grandma, I felt a need to calm down and really listen before I spoke. I guess my civility only really comes out when I care about someone, because with anyone else, I would not have been nice.

Does the value of civility mandate that we should reach out to people with opposing values?

Can social media change mindsets?

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