Plato the Feminist?

Plato is referred to frequently as the father of western philosophy, while he has angered and provoked many with his views. One view in particular has stood out to me in terms of feminism – do modern day feminists have Plato to thank for the basis of the pillars in the judicial system that ensure feminism today? Many women have fought to instil feminism in society some falling on deaf ears others making radical differences, each and every one contributing to our cause. But is Plato via Socrates the one that’s made the idea of feminism palpable in the minds of the thinkers and politicians since then? Starting in (pg 144, 455, e4) Socrates raises a question, of judging women by their faculties rather than their gender – the same as you would a man.

Did he think up equal education and jobs for women as way to give them an equal shot to ruling or was his intention to abolish family and women as family caregivers – hence presenting women with other options? Whatever his intention Plato is one of the first men to put this thought of equality among the sexes in writing. And seeing as he is one of the most influential philosophers around – we could argue that he implanted the first feminist thought in western society. He could be the first supporter that’s helped us change the minds of the misogynistic men in authority that opposed the idea of women as anything else but caregivers. It’s funny to me that Plato being avidly against democracy has presented an idea of equality. That is nothing but a democratic notion.

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