“Problem in Sex and gender Explore ”

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Struggle among genders is dated back to the time in which recognized philosophers like Aristotle and Galen expressed their theory and beliefs on which sex is the superior and inferior. The influence that the cosmology had on men have an effect on the way women were described and portrayed. In the article Competing Cosmologies by Schiebinge, the basis of the argument of why women were inferior to men were based on the four elements. The use of the four elements as empirical data is uncertain when determining the inferiority and superiority of both men and women. These elements determined the capability and significant status of women in society.

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In ancient times, Greek philosophers tried to find an order between men and women in the process they came up with a pyramid that influenced and benefited men while women were perceived as inferior both physiologically and mentally based upon a biased judgment of man. Comparable to the struggle of women in Competing Cosmos, the characters in the film Metropolis also experience a relevant competition and struggle. Ancient cosmologies suggest that superiority and inferiority are dependent on the four elements which are fire, air, water and earth. According, to this ancient theory the attribute for “fire” was heat and the attribute for “air” was dry; since, men possessed fire and air they were thought to be superior. Similarly to men, the status of women was also classified by two elements as well.

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For instance, the ancients believed that women possessed water which was an attribute of “moist” and “earth” which was cold; since, women did not possess heat or dryness they were seen as inferior. Based on the mentality the ancients had they believed that everything in the universe had a temperament. For example, anything that was predominately hot or dry was considered superior and ruling like the sun. Also any matter that is essentially cold and moist is considered inferior, passive or a subordinate like the moon. The sun actively produces light without any involvement of matter or material making it superior; meanwhile, the moon’s light is reflected which makes it inferior, because it cannot independently shine its light like the sun. The prevalent cosmology in ancient antiquity influenced and affected the lives of women negatively and benefited men. In the meantime, it determined who the superior and inferior person was based on whether their genitalia was external or internal. Men were always in charge since the fashion in which superiority was administered favored them, but women on the other hand had to submit to men based on this pseudo-science which is not empirical. It is also responsible for the delay in women advancement because women were not able to move forward educationally.

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Even when early feminist like Anna van Schurman and Marguerite Buffet challenged the basis of the four elements their input at the time was not as valued as Aristotle’s principles. The inferiority continues to extend during the time period of Galen until the late sixteenth century women and men were thought to share the same reproductive system, but the only difference was the variation of heat that each gender had. Men had the right amount of fire according to Galen, to produce a penis and testicles while a female lacked the fire to push their organs outward like men. Women at that time period were considered inferior, because they lacked the fire to produce the noblest part of the human body according to Galen which was the testicles and penis. Aside from the supposed inferiority of women based on physiology there were also assumptions made by other ancients about women’s inferiority in education. According to Aristotle women did not possess sufficient fire to succeed in math, science, and philosophy.

According to the reading Judith Butler on “Antigone’s Claim,” she argues that “Antigone represents a form of feminist and sexual agency that is fraught with risk. Moreover, Antigone shows how the constraints of normative kinship unfairly decide what will and will not be a livable life” according to Butler, Judith. “Antigone’s Claim.”Columbia University Press. N.p., May 2002. Web. 16 Feb. 2016. Butler clearly proved that there is still gender discrimination in our society and there should be something done about it because sexism is a big issue since forever.