By Sandrine Berges (auth.)
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The same theme is developed in Crates’ advice on the rearing of their son: Hipparchia must not coddle him but treat him in such a way as will encourage the growth of strength. The third and fourth letters present a view of what Stoic union in marriage may have looked like. First, Hipparchia is berated by her husband for having woven a cloak for him. Not only does he not want to display wealth by wearing a fine cloak, but he feels her time would be better spent than by exercising feminine skills with no other goal than to impress her neighbours that she was a respectable wife.
Certainly, Perictione’s text focuses on women’s roles within the home – as wives, mothers, mistresses of slaves and, in a second fragment, daughters. However, her views fall short of the Pythagorean doctrine in that she claims that women’s virtue could 30 A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics in fact extend to the city, as women might be rulers. This hypothesis brings her much closer to Plato and the Republic, where he discusses the idea that women might be trained to become kings just as easily as men, as there is no essential difference that might prevent them from achieving the necessary level of wisdom and virtue.
We know little about her; the only evidence we have is from 24 A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics a slightly known source: letters attributed to a Pseudo-Crates but of unknown origin. 21 The first two of the five letters to Hipparchia from Pseudo-Crates concern themselves with arguing for gender equality. Cynics are dogs, and there is no difference between the male and the female dog. They are dogs – not just because they are indifferent or shameless but also because they endure what others can’t.
A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics by Sandrine Berges (auth.)