Who was Xanthippe you ask?
Well she was the much younger wife of the famous Greek Philosopher Socrates. And what did Socrates think about his wife Xanthippe? He said that he tolerated his first wife Xanthippe, because she bore him sons, in the same way one tolerated the noise of geese because they produce eggs and chicks. Basically, this analogy perpetuated the claim that a woman’s sole role was reproduction.
PicSource: QuoteHD.com & BlackHawkpi
An incident involving the two went ‘viral’ (well we still know of it 2500 years later don’t we?) was how Xanthippe poured the contents of a bedpan on to the philosopher’s head after an argument. And that’s how the term “Xanthippe” has now come to mean any nagging scolding person, especially a shrewish wife. I think Xanthippe was one of the first Feminists and given how her name has such a negative connotation today, Socrates could may well have called her a Feminazi!
And nothing has changed really. Even today almost all of Feminism is being reduced to ‘angry frustrated women asking for rights’ or Feminazi’s! And this post is about deciphering why Feminism got such a bad name?
Before that…at the cost of repetition (sorry my regular empathetic readers – you can skip this part), Feminism speaks of equal rights and opportunities for all genders. And the definition of a Feminist that most resonated with me was the one that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Feminist from Lagos, Nigeria gave in her very well-articulated TEDx talk, ‘Why we should all be Feminists’ – ‘A feminist is a man or a woman, who says -Yes, there is a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it. We must do better.’
Reading time: 7 min