Plato. Phaedo. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. 15 April 2004.
Instead of condemning Plato for his misogyny, Okin credits him with granting their rational status in the Republic (20) and the Laws (60), in the latter even calling for universal education for boys and girls. In Plato, Okin says, "the biological implications of femaleness have been clearly separated from all [their] conventional, institutional, and emotional baggage" (20). She criticizes commentators who insist that Plato must diminish women in order to make his argument work, much as Spelman criticizes those who accept the mind/body distinction and the body/female attribution and either exploit or fail to examine their implications.
ites the Republic's statement that "natural capacities are distributed alike among both [male and female] creatures" (51), though she says that does not make up for misogynistic texts elsewhere in Plato's works. Meanwhile, she has to admit that dualism by itself does not cause sexism (56); she sees dualism plus casual attribution of body reality to women as the source of women's oppression.
Spelman Elizabeth V. "Woman as Body: Ancient and Contemporary Views." N.p. 47-57.
Okin, Susan Miller. "Female Nature and Social Structure." Women in Western Political Thought. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1992. 28-70.
Even if valid, however, her analysis forces her to ignore text that does not support her social critique. The context for Socrates' criticism of women's weeping, for example, is that Phaedo, Crito, and Apollodorus (young men all) are blubbering away. Hearing