Meet The Spartan Spinsters

Jane Austen has shown us young ladies heading for the Shelf and desperate to find a husband, because he is almost the only possible source of income for a woman of their social class. Their weapons are looks, charm, badinage and gossip.

It is therefore a great pity that no woman of old Sparta wrote comedies of manners for her own set, in which the desperation was equally great but the weapons were much more literally teeth and claws. For whenever a Spartan bachelor turned thirty, all the unattached females were locked in a room, and the last woman standing got to exit the room and take him home. It was more Tarantino than Merchant-Ivory.

Posted on December 24, 2012 at 12:38 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: WHAT WOMEN WANT, WWW, Miscellaneous

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  1. Written by urban
    on December 24, 2012 at 14:11
    Permalink

    And that was in a society which displayed quite extraordinary gender parity by the standards of the ancient world. Not only were Spartan women educated, (By itself rather remarkable for the time), they ran the economy and maintained order since the men were always away training for war when they weren’t fighting one. So since marriage and family fell squarely under female jurisdiction, the arrangement you describe cannot be easily chalked up to distortion of female nature imposed on the poor dears by patriarchy.

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