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Gender Equality in the Aztec Civilization

  • Date Submitted: 01/16/2011 11:33 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58 
  • Words: 685
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An all too commonly trend shared with various nations and civilizations around the world is the mistreatment of women. With very few exceptions, the belittling of women seems almost ubiquitous throughout history. Was this trend practiced in the aztec civilation? Or did the Aztecs understand and appreciate the importance of women's role in their society? Overall, women were unappreciated and were not considered equal to men.
To begin with, the society of the Aztecs were patriarchal ruled by kings and noble lords. Women were considered lower than men. This is shown through the absence of women partaking in government and religious affairs (with the exception of being sacrificial victims).
Aztec women had their hands in almost everything. They learned weaving, cooking, the intricacies of child-bearing, and house-keeping skills. They also had work outside the home. They could organize and administer expeditions for trade. One of the few priviledges thay they had was that they were able to sell what they made in the marketplace and earn money for their families. They placed food, cloth and many other items on the market to sell. When disputes arose in the marketplace women were official arbiters to resolve them. These women kept their homes clean, they weaved, they cooked, they participated in the market place, and settled disputes all while taking care of rambunctious kids. The only incentive they recieved for this grueling workload was the 'priviledge' of earning money for their never-ending labor in the marketplace.
Next, we will look at spousal relationships. In many civilizations where women were considered lesser beings, polygamy was usually practiced. In general, Aztec marriages were monogamous, however, there is ample evidence that marriages of multiple wives occurred as well. Even within the monogamous marriages the female individuals were not valued. In many cases, wives and daughters of the household were sacrificed and even offered to visiting...


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