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The Battle of the Sexes in Ancient India

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case study
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  1. Introduction
  2. The first group to be analyzed
  3. Similarity between the two groups of men
  4. The women of The Thousand and One Nights
  5. The desire of the peasant women to hurt their husbands
  6. Conclusion
  7. Works cited

For time immemorial, mankind has been locked in a vicious and never-ending struggle against an enemy that is cunning, resourceful, and not above hitting below the belt; in short the one enemy that is capable of presenting a formidable challenge on every conceivable field of battle: womankind. This ?battle of the sexes? is nothing more than the daily interaction between men and women, and the conflict that must result due to the inherent differences of the two genders. While it is easy to identify the physical differences between men and women, the metaphysical differences are more difficult to distinguish and have often been the subject of many literary works. One such work, ?The Thousand and One Nights,? discusses these differences between men and women, and identifies the resultant gender conflicts. According to the work, men are described as being virtuous and powerful, the rulers and kings of their households. In contrast, women are portrayed as weak willed and sinful, taking every opportunity to misbehave and rebel against their husbands. As a result, the men must exert their dominance over the women, so as to ensure a happy marriage and a successful resolution to the ?battle of the sexes.?

[...] In the way of many ancient texts, Thousand and One Nights,? provides a very clear definition as to the different natures of men and women. Men are depicted as being honorable, virtuous, pious, and financially successful. They are strong kings and just rulers, presiding not only over the affairs of the state, but also over the affairs of their household. In this way, they are the pillars of society, responsible for filling the political, military, and commercial roles. In contrast, women are depicted as being [...]


[...] Furthermore, it is said of him that he built two beautiful palaces in his garden, one for guests, the other for the women and members of his household? (1570). The second group, the masculine peasantry, is composed of the various merchants and old men of Shahrazd's stories. While these men are not the stalwart images of strength and virtue as depicted by the first group, they are nonetheless honorable in their own rustic way. Instead of governing over huge territories, they govern their own households and businesses, and in this way they are as successful as Shahrayar and his brother. [...]

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