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Antigone The First Feminist How old is feminism and who was the first feminist Although no one can say for sure the exact date on which the feminist movement started most of it is attributed to the past two centuries However women who are feminists have been around much longer In Sophocless Antigone the main character Antigone acts as a protofeminist by defying the authority of a patriarchal society and taking action according to what she believes is right in her heart She even shows some characteristics of a modern feminist Feminists today are viewed as raging man-hating bitches but feminism in its true sense simply advocates womens rights While there are extremes on either side of the scale most feminists fight for equality among the sexes rather than dominance of one over the other Antigone can be considered a feminist because she challenges the men-make-the-rules-and-women-follow-them-unquestioningly mentality of the society she lives in Antigones character is indeed among the first to stand up for women in a society that has remained patriarchal or male-dominated and unchallenged She lived in a time where men were the public politicians and authoritarians and women were in charge of domestic business Ismene Antigones sister points out to Antigone Remember we are women were not born to contend with men Sophocles p646 This strict patriarchy is symbolized by King Creon who makes a decree that is opposition with the gods and forbids the proper burial of Polynices Antigones brother Antigone however decides she would rather please the gods than man and buries her brother against King Creons orders She is fully aware of the consequences should she get caught yet she openly disobeys even against her sisters warnings She gives Creon no additional respect either as a male in a patriarchal society or as a king and ultimate authority figure In fact she calls him a fool Antigone boldly states to Creon himself If my present actions strike you
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