Gender, Power and Contradiction in Ancient Rome

This article will discuss women’s roles and behaviours in ancient Rome, particularly, the differing points of view regarding a person’s right to determine whether their child will be raised or not. The basis of the contradiction this paper will explore is one source, Oxyrhynchus Papyri 744, showing a social acceptance of post-conception means of family planning, while another, Ovid’s Love Affairs, says that post-conception family planning is morally wrong. In greater depth, the contradictory opinion held in ancient Rome is that one person had the right to decide whether a newborn infant would be raised by the family or exposed, while another did not have the right to decide whether they would continue with a pregnancy or have said pregnancy aborted. This hypocritical view can be attributed to the structure of power relations between men and women in ancient Roman society. Continue reading

So you’ve Been Invited to a Wedding

Planning a wedding is a trying time for every couple. I, for one, looked at my husband-elect during the planning process and wondered if I could really spend the rest of my life with a man who couldn’t tell the difference between a very slate-like blue and a cool blue-toned gray. As you can surmise, responding to a wedding invitation incorrectly, giving a gift inadequately or dressing inappropriately, and thereby making this stressful time more difficult than it has to be, is a sure-fire way to have your friend/cousin/sister screaming at you and her mother/your aunt/your own mother bad mouthing you to anyone who compliments or congratulates her on anything concerning the wedding.

“The centrepieces are lovely.” “Yes, it really is too bad Mary didn’t tell the cashier that she was purchasing something from the registry.”

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Family Pressure

I’ve been married for just over a month now and the baby badgering has already begun. It was bad before with comments like “you know, you don’t have to be married to have a baby these days,” coming from all directions but as I expected, it has gotten even worse now that I am married. A family member, who, every Christmas, is socked that I’m not pregnant yet, even asked me at my wedding how much longer they were going to have to wait. It seems now that I can’t do anything out of the ordinary without getting people’s hopes up. Continue reading

Why Get Married?

I grew up with a father telling me “a baby is no reason to get married,” and a mother, married to him, telling me “the only reason to get married is if you want to have children.” Conflicting life lessons aside, they both have strong and valid points. With my own wedding only one week away and no bun in my oven, I, as I’m sure many other couples have, am wondering, why get married in this day and age, in a society that no longer deems is necessary? Continue reading