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Raven Shaw

First of all, men and women are different, so their desires and expression of desire are different. So the art shown in the Etruscan wing isn’t necessarily indicative of the role of women — just how men who made art or commissioned art saw the role of women.

If Apollo from Viee was in fact struggling with Hercules over the Golden Hind, he found his twin sister (Artemis’s) interests of importance — enough to risk humiliation or death.

The Cerveti Sarcophagus shows a man and wife reclining together to enjoy a feast — with the man protectively and lovingly in place behind her. The class info attached to the image seems a little inaccurate, considering the info I found on the above Hellenistic Greek period — also the bias shown by male Roman writers at the same time. Roman women had access to education (depending on financial status), and there is historical evidence that Roman women ran estates, owned businesses, and attended to their own financial affairs. Higher class Roman women didn’t have to get jobs, but lower class Roman women took on agriculture, markets, crafts, and limited medical expertise. Although it does suck that prostitutes, waitresses, and slaves were not allowed to pursue rape charges, that sucks.

In the Egyptian statues that showed man and wife, the woman stayed a step behind the man. This may be interpreted as female subordination, or it may be interpreted as the man’s need to be a step before her to protect her from enemies and animals. She is the most important thing he is responsible for the safety of. Man’s love of woman is not always apparent, and not always openly flaunted for fear of being seen as weak. The art of the Etruscans, like the Sarcophagus of Larth Tetnies and Thanchvil Tarnai, openly showed the love of man for woman — so it’s easy to suppose that they were more progressive than previous or contemporary cultures. However, the males that successfully breed are those who care about their wives’ and daughter’s happiness. The evidence of this provided in previous wings is scant.

For instance, in ancient Egypt, there are a myriad of love songs writ by men and women, calling each other brother and sister (like in the American 70’s) to signal they are equal.

In Aegean frescos, young women and men are shown engaging in the same sport — jumping the bulls horns.

Ancient Mesopotamian/Sumerian women had more rights than later Assyrian cultures, in that they were able to own land, own businesses, become physicians, become judges or witnesses in courts, etc.

Just because something looks like a thing, doesn’t mean it’s a thing. Look into it if in doubt.