The Feminine Matrix of Sex and Gender in Classical Athens
This book was first published in 2009. In The Feminine Matrix of Sex and Gender in Classical Athens, Kate Gilhuly explores the relationship between the prostitute, the wife, and the ritual performer in Athenian literature. She suggests that these three roles formed a symbolic continuum that served as an alternative to a binary conception of gender in classical Athens and provided a framework for assessing both masculine and feminine civic behaviour. Grounded in close readings of four texts, 'Against Neaira', Plato's Symposium, Xenophon's Symposium, and Aristophanes' Lysistrata, this book draws upon observations from gender studies and the history of sexuality in ancient Greece to illuminate the relevance of these representations of women to civic behaviour, pederasty, philosophy, and politics. In these original readings, Gilhuly casts a new light on the complexity of the classical Athenian sex/gender system, demonstrating how various and even opposing strategies worked together to articulate different facets of the Athenian subject.