Weekly Update 11 ❤
Weekly Update 11:
First Hour: Monday 4/10/17 5:00–6:00 PM
“Women step up when men are unready or unwilling. How, when, and why do women lead communities? Is Plutarch giving us a feminine model of leadership, or is he merely showing women acting as men?” (Caterine, Tulane University).
“Moralia” commonly called the “Virtues of Women” (module)
“The goal of the collection is to prove that men and women are one in the same.”
Plutarch’s concern that his audience won’t take his stories about women seriously gives us an idea of the strong male dominance of the culture in this time. He probably does not expect women to read his stories. Through this concern we see that there are pessimistic/unsupportive attitudes toward women in leadership positions.
To be honest, I’m confused at what exactly Plutarch is trying to prove here. Maybe I should know who he’s referencing a little better. What I’m getting from this Plutarch preface is that he’s trying to prove to Clea that it doesn’t matter to him whether a man or a woman is in leadership because both of them have proven to be equal in their works. Considering that they are both capable of making contributions to the arts, capable of the same bravery and “high mindedness.”
Hours 2–3: Monday 4/10/17 6:05–8:00 PM
Step Two: Understanding the Virtues of Women and their Modes of Influence in Groups
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?
How do communities commemorate the brave actions of their women?
What do those memorials tell us about how women’s actions were viewed?
Leadership is almost always thought of in terms of individuals. Can we talk about groups as leaders?
Do they have the same qualities as individual leaders?
Are there still individuals in charge of the collective actions Plutarch records?
do these stories not really address the issue of leadership?
The Trojan women used their sweetness by kissing the men of their families in greeting in an effort to be forgiven for burning their ships. This was both quick-minded and manipulative. In this instance, women used their bodies to get the men to be forgiving and also agreeable to staying on sure. I bet this approach would not have worked the other way around!
I believe it was brave for these women to make such a bold decision knowing that there could be consequences for their actions, but I do not see this as a virtuous act. In a way, I feel the women’s acts were viewed as being infantile. Referring to the men, Plutarch states, “…came to be content with what had been done by the women…” For some reason when I dissect this passage, I feel like the men still felt it wasn’t a good decision, almost as if the women were silly for making such a decision. There was no respect.
It’s also interesting that although Plutarch singles out a women named Roma that takes the lead of the women, nothing about her is noted to make her stand out from the group. In other accounts of leaders, there is usually a vivid description, but this story lacks any such details. It makes it even more impossible to view woman in the light of being leaders.
I would also like to note the language used by Plutarch in this passage. He says that the men “apparently” realized the inevitable necessity, as though this was hard to believe. He says the women received their men by kissing them in a persuasive manner. The language used by the author invokes a tone that readers have no choice but to respond to since they weren’t there themselves.
The women of Phocis
The story of these women provides no account for individuality. They are literally portrayed as taking a group vote with little detail, and immediately following their description the children are mentioned. I think this gives a good account of the way gender roles are set up. It’s interesting that Plutarch isn’t making any direct claims to viewing women as inferior, but I think it’s really seen through his use of language and the syntax of his stories. Why aren’t these women given virtuous characteristics like the men are? Why are their actions constantly being minimized to infantile descriptions? This is clearly all these men are used to.
The Women of Chios -
The women of Chios remind me a lot of Spartan women. Their advice to the Chians reminded me of a Spartan saying, “With it or on it!” It seems that women have no issues with bravery, but I feel their bravery is always portrayed as reckless and wild, and not as intentional and strategic as that of the former stories we’ve seen of men in leadership.
Women definitely are capable of igniting a flame in men. So far I do not really see these stories addressing the issues of leaders, though, because they do not delve deep enough into the issues at all, at least not for women.
The Women of Argos -
I’m a bit confused by this account. I guess Plutarch is saying that an army was commanded by Telesilla the poetess, and there were women who fought in this army, but they shamed their husbands for making them feel they were “underlings?” I’m not sure, but I was surprised to see a woman seemingly given such honor in battle.
In the beginning of the module, the professor from Tulane asked the audience if Plutarch giving a feminine account of leadership, or is he merely portraying women acting as men? I guess I have to ask myself, are they two mutually exclusive? Is it possible to give a woman leadership qualities in society without making her seem manly? On account of this story I would have to say that apparently you can not have a female as a leader without masculinizing her. In the end of the story we see this through the “Festival of Impudence” where women are dressed as men and men as women. It’s as if women can not exist in a light without men.
The Persian Women -
In this story we see women using their bodies to taunt the enemies. DEHUMANIZING. Why are women constantly reduced to having to use their bodies?
The Celtic Women -
???? ASK ABOUT THIS ONE.
The Women of Melos -
Such courage! Such bravery! I was really shocked at the women portrayed in this story. I couldn’t imagine having the men of my life tell me to get in on a plan of manslaughter! The women in this story truly had no reservations for their men either.
I want to pay close attention to Caphene’s role. She was basically celebrated for snitching on her people. I find that particularly intriguing. I feel like if she was a man she would’ve been murdered or proclaimed a prisoner or something of that nature because he can’t really be trusted. I guess Caphene wasn’t deemed as a threat and so it was acceptable for her to not be loyal to her people.
4th Hour: (Class) Tuesday 4/11/17
We began class with a discussion of the boston marathon. Dr. Sandridge told us that women tend to run in packs, helping eachother out up until the last possible moment, and then whoever wins has done so merely by a matter of seconds.
Question: What is the role of Civility in Leadership?
[context] An award given by a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, to a nominee from the ideological left and the ideological right.
“In politics it’s very hard to have strong convictions with tolerance.” This is what Civility is.
Question: How do you deal with civility in everyday life?
For me, I accept that it is not my responsibility to try to change everyone’s viewpoints and opinions. It’s not hard for me to love and accept all people, but I understand that to a certain extent I can’t connect with these people on all levels, and I’m okay with that.
I have about 5,000 friends on Facebook. Out of these friends I can honestly say that in the past, I probably had a lot in common with them. Nowadays though, I may scroll on my timeline for 5 minutes, and I hardly ever see something that supports my own convictions. I have an internal conflict sometimes and just feel like completely starting over and making a new page. To a certain extent I think it’s toxic to let certain people into your personal life. Everyone’s intentions are not good, and I think it’s important to protect your heart.
The other side of me wants to lead those that I don’t agree with into a different way of thinking. Sometimes I want to use the influence that I may have over all of those friends. I think sometimes ignorance is just due to a lack of exposure. Since leadership entails improving the lifes of others, to me that means doing so in whatever position I find myself. Whether it be at a retail job, or through my words on social media, in my heart I do want to serve others. This is what keeps me from deleting my old accounts.
II. Women in Roles of Leadership. [discussion]
To be daring (women of Argos)
→ The women have been characterized as amazonian women. They are so manly they must have beards? This story completely masculinized the role of women in leadership.
5th Hour: Wednesday 4/12/17 (6:17–7:17 pm)
The Etruscan Women:
These women were very wise for telling their husbands to switch clothes with them.
The Lycian Women:
In this story I see another instance of women “pulling up their garmets.” I hope this isn’t true. Was using their bodies really the only way for these women to get what they wanted? Why does this make the men feel shameful?
The Women of Salmantica:
This story is another good example of the way women tend to be grouped together in leadership. So far besides reading about the poetess, women in leadership tend to be characterized as brave but not very virtuous. Most of the time they merely seem to be portrayed as accomplices to the endeavors of the men. For this to supposedly be an account of the virtues of women, it is still clearly seen how much more the men are valued across cultures.
Once again, women are using their bodies to hide weapons and enforce secret attacks. I can say though that the women are very clever in these accounts.
The Women of Miletus:
It’s fascinating that the suicides of these women were put to a hault once the ordinance was passed. How could they find more shame in being seen naked then in ending their own lives? It makes me feel that this was merely a social act. I also feel that the ordinance was an objectification of women because we know that the same would not have been ordered for men.
The women of Ceos:
Interesting. Veryyyy interesting.
The Women of Phocis:
I need some clarification on this one. I’m confused about what’s happening here.
Valeria and Cloelia:
I find it most interesting the reasonings behind why Cloelia was said to have been deemed the statue of the horse.
“Porsena, because he admired her strength and daring as above that of a woman, deemed her worthy of a gift fitting for a warrior.”
Micca and Megisto:
Aristotimus was the despot of this story. His cruelty was immense.
Megisto’s refusal toward Aristotimus was truly admirable. In the face of torture and possible death, she refused to be swayed by this man’s threats! This was definitely a virtuous act. Megisto boldly stated,
“In truth, it is not a bad thing for them to lose us, whom they have not at present, as it is a good thing to rescue the citizens from your cruelty and overbearing insolence!”
I aspire to have the same type of virtuous bravery in my convictions.
But what really grappled my heart,
“Come here, child, and, before you can realize and think, be delivered from this bitter despotism.since for me it is more grievous to look upon your undeserved slavery then upon your death.”