Socrates equated women with animals, “arguing that when a wife is bad, the husband is to blame for not training her properly just as it is the rider’s fault when a horse turns vicious.” To achieve complete subjugation, men were encouraged to beat their wives, but only before nine o’clock at night, to avoid bothering the neighbors.

 

Plato argued that real love could exist only between equals, and since men were obviously superior, a man could love only another man. The Greeks and Romans believed that to love someone was a “desire to emulate the beloved. It was therefore important that a man choose the object of his affections carefully. If a man were to love a woman, he would desire to become like a woman.” And why would any man want to debase himself in such a manner?

 

Men were advised to have homosexual sex because having sex with women would “steal their substance.” So true love could exist not between a husband and wife, but rather between an adult male and his younger male protégé. Homosexual sex became part of a young man’s education. An older man would take a younger man under his tutelage and show him the ropes, so to speak.

 

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© 2016 ELLEN ANTONELLI