Women; Icons of Justice

“When a woman has scholarly inclinations, there is usually something wrong with her sexual organs” – Friedrich Nietzsche.

“Nature intended women to be our slaves; they are our property” – Napoleon Bonaparte “Feminism was established to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of the society” – Rush Limbaugh

“A Woman’s Adultery Is A Very Serious Attack On The Honor And Dignity Of A Man” – Judges
Neto de Moura and Maria Luisa Arantes

He Had the Right To Do So” – Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith

Since the dawn of history, women have been the subject of abuse, the victims of misogyny, the marginalized community, and the oppressed group of society. Every day, some news headlines feature new forms of misogyny and discrimination. Daily, breaking news shock us with new cases of abuse, oppression, and violence against women. In 2022, women were fighting to have a seat at the tables of decision-making. They are fighting to have a say in their communities. Women fight to have their voices heard and their struggles and concerns considered. In the 21st century, women are struggling to be perceived as equals in opportunities and values to men. In a very advanced world, women in multiple countries are still beaten to death, and young girls are burnt with no deterrence. Unfortunately, as much as we work in this, it always feels like we are stuck in quicksand with no way out. It seems that humanity is still lagging behind!

In the patriarchal system that has been governing us for as long as one can remember, justice becomes irrelevant, corruption prevails, discrimination becomes the only language the government speaks, misogyny becomes a reality, and equality becomes a theory. The concept of misogyny goes back to ancient times and history. To illustrate, Aristotle once postulated that women were inferior deformed versions of men. However, the term was first used in the 17th century and is derived from the Greek misos, meaning “hatred,” and gunē, meaning “woman” .Despite that, women in ancient history used to lead. For instance, Sparta women used to own 40% of Sparta’s land; religion revolved around goddesses (Athena, Aphrodite, Ishtar, Tiamat, …) equally as it revolved around gods, civilizations used to flourish when women used to lead (Cleopatra). Kingdoms used to thrive in peace when queens used to reign (Sobekneferu). Building on that, women resembled justice, equity, mercy, and reason. Therefore, it has always been a question one had in mind; why the statue of justice is always a lady.

To answer that question, the concept of Lady Justice is an ancient discourse which dates back to ancient Greece and Pharaonic times. For the greeks, it was Themis, the goddess who embodied justice, the rule of law, and order. However, pharaonic civilization had Ma’at, who stood for order and carried both a sword and the Feather of Truth. As an illustration that connects both perceptions, the Roman goddess of justice, “Justitia”, represents this concept. To support that claim, a blog was written explaining this comparison and discourse by the “Historical Society of the New York Courts.”

“Some of the first images similar to the Lady of Justice date back to the Egyptian goddess Maat, who signified truth and order in that ancient society. Later, the ancient Greeks worshipped the goddess Themis, the personification of divine law and custom, and her daughter, Dike, whose name means “justice.”

Dike was always depicted carrying a pair of balance scales, and it was believed that she ruled over human law. The ancient Romans revered Justitia or lustitia, which most closely resembles the Lady of Justice statues formed in more modern times. She represented the morality of the justice system.”

An icon shall never be fractured, and a symbol should never vanish. As long as we turn a blind eye to those women who suffer under the oppression and injustice of the misogynistic patriarchal system, we will never escape it. Until we explicitly make peace with the fact that women are a main cardinal element and the vessel of our societies, we will never have justice, equity, mercy, and development.

by Anhal Kozhaya

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