Sexism In Euripides's Medea

1312 Words 5 Pages
Euripides 's Medea is an overly dramatized anti-feminist play that borders on portraying prejudices against women as outlandish comedy. To modern readers like the ones in our Gender and Sexuality class at Lick, Medea can come across as comic, but this reaction does not mean that our society is “post-sexist”; there are definitely still many people who agree with the prejudices the play presents. But although Medea can come across as stereotypical in that Medea is the overly-emotional woman and Jason is the overly-logical man, the ancient play still exposes gender roles in a way that is recognizable today; we laugh at the ridiculousness because we are still familiar with such absurd sexism in modern society. Medea’s responses to Jason’s actions …show more content…
Jason tells Medea that women are only driven by emotions and neediness for men and thus pits women against each other as competitors for men’s attention. This idea sounds like a satirical parody of misogyny that many readers today see as a ridiculous situation, and yet the eerie familiarity of it evokes laughter. Jason tells Medea that “If you could govern your sex-jealousy. But you women / Have reached a state where, if all’s well with your sex-life, / you’ve everything you wish for” (34). The word “sex-jealousy” sounds comically ridiculous because of how unreasonably prejudiced it is. The word mocks women as emotional and childish, unable to care about anything other than men. The slangy tone shows how casually accepting Jason is of his sexist views which makes the situation seem even more outlandish. However, despite the ridiculousness, Jason’s words make us laugh because we can relate what he says to things people still actually say today. Later on, when Medea convinces Jason that she has reconsidered, Jason responds by patronizing Medea, as if he pities her womanly lack of ability to think with reason. He resolves that “you have changed your mind; though indeed I do not / blame / your first resentment. …show more content…
However, today’s society cannot be considered “post-sexist” if a faction of the population still perpetuates the sexism that we see in the play. Despite its age, this play is still relevant today because it portrays a societal view that shockingly still exists. While post-sexist readers view the most ridiculous lines in the play as the funniest ones, this only exemplifies sexism that is still prevalent because people wouldn’t find these extremes to be comical if the lines in this play weren’t at least a little bit familiar. Ultra-stereotypical aspects of this play are laughable because of how relevant these themes have remained over at least the last two-thousand

Related Documents