• Discussion

    Brilliant Achilles, shining Achilles – Greek myths, women’s voices, and colonial violence

    In “The Public Voice of Women”, the classicist Mary Beard writes about a text by Aristophanes: “Part of the joke was that women couldn’t speak properly in public – or rather, they couldn’t adapt their private speech […] to the lofty idiom of male politics”. Beard examines in her text how (Western) ideas about public speech and debate are infused with ideas (“conventions and rules”) developed in ancient Greece and Rome. Analyzing exemplary texts, she argues that public speaking and oratory was not only a practice women were barred from but even more so “exclusive practices and skills that defined masculinity as a gender”. When I read through her analysis,…