Los Angeles | In-Person

What Can the Ancient World Teach Us About Feminism? 

A Zócalo/Getty Villa Event
Moderated by Madeleine Brand, Host, KCRW’s “Press Play”

We tend to think of women’s liberation as starting in the 19th century and of feminism as originating in the 20th century. But women throughout the ages have found ways to advance themselves and protect their rights even under the most oppressive circumstances. How did women in ancient societies, from Greece to China to the Yucatán Peninsula, carve out roles for themselves, resist misogyny, and defend themselves against discrimination? Which societies, if any, were open to the participation or even the leadership of women in matters of ritual and law, and which societies were the most exclusionary? And what thinkers and leaders from the ancient world proved to be ahead of their time when it came to women’s rights? UC Santa Barbara classicist and scholar of ancient Greek literature Helen Morales, University of Miami archaeologist and editor of Ancient Maya Women Traci Ardren, and Cal State LA historian of premodern China Ping Yao visit Zócalo to consider how ancient women empowered themselves long before contemporary movements. 

Please note this program will be held outdoors.

Admission limited to guests who have registered in advance.

The Getty Villa
Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Guests must either be dropped off or park on-site at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway. Parking is $10, and the main gate will open at 6:00 PM to ticketed guests only.

The Takeaway

Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Ancient Women Led Armies, Protested, and Even Married for Love

From the Yucatán to China, Women Were Challenging Gender Roles Two Millennia Before Contemporary Feminism

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